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We are leading consultants and partners for the microfinance sector in Eastern Africa. Based on the expertise of German Sparkassen Finance Group, we support building the capacity of our partner institutions to become self-sustainable and professional organizations, thus, assisting them to enhance economic opportunities of the poor. Together, we pursue to improve lives in Eastern Africa by sustainably promoting financial and vocational education.
In Eastern Africa, Sparkassenstiftung maintains offices in Bujumbura, Gitega and Ngozi/Burundi, Nairobi/Kenya, Kigali/Rwanda, Mwanza and Dar es Salaam/Tanzania and Kampala and Arua/Uganda.
The regional office of Sparkassenstiftung in Eastern Africa is in Kigali/Rwanda. We employ more than 80 permanent staff members and 9 temporary employees in the whole region.
Sparkassenstiftung has been involved in the institutional strengthening of the microfinance sector in Eastern Africa since 2009 - initially in Rwanda, since 2012 also in Burundi and Tanzania. The activities were consolidated for the first time in 2014 when individual projects were merged into the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) funded regional project “Vocational Training and Strengthening the Microfinance Sector in East Africa”. In the meantime, two further BMZ funded individual projects have been started in Rwanda ("Restructuring the Umurenge SACCO sector and establishing a cooperative bank") and Uganda ("Strengthening financial education and the microfinance sector in Uganda"), which were carried out in parallel with the regional project. The content of these projects was focused on financial education of the population, especially customers and members of Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) / Saving and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs), vocational training for employees and managers of MFIs / SACCOs and institutional strengthening of partner organizations and MFIs / SACCOs.
During the project activities, the focus shifted from rather limited, singular interventions to holistic packages of measures. Furthermore, the needs of the partners became increasingly complex as the microfinance sector developed. That is why our project activities were merged again in 2019 and organized in two regional projects named “Vocational and Commercial Education for the Microfinance Sector in Eastern Africa” and “Rural Development in Eastern Africa through Institution Strengthening of the Microfinance Sector”. Both are being financed by BMZ and are present in all five project countries.
The third project in the region is our Green Finance Project “Améliorer l’accès des groupes d’épargne au microcrédit pour le financement des latrines agro-écologiques ‹Akasuga› " in Burundi and is funded by GIZ. Within that project we provide savings trainings for households which bought the components of an ecological latrine by receiving a loan from an MFI. Additionally, we provide consultancy for lending MFIs and work with Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) to connect them closer to the formal financial sector.
If you would like to know more about our history and donors in Eastern Africa, please feel free to check out the section of “History” and “Donors”.