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Réseau des Institutions de Microfinance (RIM)
The Réseau des Institutions de Microfinance (RIM) is a non-profit association created in 2002 by microfinance institutions (MFIs) engaged in the development of financial services for the benefit of the population evolving outside the traditional banking circuit. RIM has 39 member institutions, covering 99% of the total volume of microfinance activities in Burundi.
In 2012, Sparkassenstiftung and RIM signed a partnership agreement with the aim of strengthening the professionalization of the microfinance sector in Burundi. RIM, in partnership with Sparkassenstiftung, has been carrying out various activities since then. Here are a few examples:
The introduction of a financial education program in Burundi including a series of training sessions on financial education for primary and secondary school teachers and local authorities, Capacity building for the staff of microfinance institutions and their clients, The introduction of shared services referring to services jointly purchased by several MFIs at a lower cost is another activity supported by Sparkassenstiftung in collaboration with RIM. In order to enhance professionalization and transparency in the microfinance sector, Sparkassenstiftung partners the Burundian Microfinance Week organizes high level exchange formats with governmental counterparts and supports intensive training programs of MFIs to improve their governance system and reporting to the Central Bank.
The activities jointly implemented by Sparkassenstiftung and RIM over the years have not only substantially impacted the level of professionalism in the Burundian microfinance sector and rendered RIM a service-oriented umbrella organization, they also institutionalized the annual celebration of the World Savings Day, improved financial literacy and fostered overall financial inclusion of large sections of the Burundian population.
African Confederation of Cooperative Savings and Credit Associations (ACCOSCA)
ACCOSCA is a Pan-African confederation of national associations of savings and credit cooperatives societies. ACCOSCA opened its doors in 1968 and is currently being governed by domicile laws and the ACCOSCA constitution. It enjoys a goodwill gesture from its members and other stakeholders that are keen on making Africa a better place to live.
ACCOSCA’s members are spread in the following regional blocks in Africa: Eastern, western, and southern Africa. Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs) have a widespread within their countries and are mandated to provide financial services to their members.
ACCOSCA is mandated to provide consultancy, training, and advocacy services to national SACCO associations. However, in Kenya our joint activities together with Sparkassenstiftung focus on the Kenyan SACCO sector.
Association of Microfinance Institutions in Kenya (AMFI-K)
AMFI-K is a member-based institution, registered in 1999 under the Societies Act by the leading MFIs in Kenya, with a mission to champion the aspirations of its members and promote sector growth and development. To achieve this mission and objective, AMFI-K mandate is anchored on four key pillars: Policy advocacy and lobbying, capacity building, research and knowledge management, networking and linkages.
AMFI-K's membership base varies from microfinance institutions, microfinance banks, credit-only lending institutions, mainstream banks offering microcredit services, wholesale lenders as well as developmental institutions.
MINECOFIN is the line ministry for all financial sector interventions, including those of the microfinance sector. Among its goals is the promotion of a dynamic, efficient, and stable financial market, that is accessible to all segments of the Rwandan population. MINECOFIN’s mission is to raise sustainable growth, economic opportunities, and living standards of all Rwandans. MINECOFIN steers the Umurenge SACCO Professionalization Project. The project aims to computerize all 416 Umurenge SACCOs with a core banking software, to consolidate them to 30 District-level SACCOs in a multi-merger process, and to establish a Cooperative Bank.
Ministry of Trade and Industry (MINICOM)
MINICOM’s mission is to facilitate Rwanda’s economic transformation by enabling a competitive private sector integrated into regional and global markets while ensuring a level playing field and the protection of consumers. As such, it is not only the line ministry for Rwanda Cooperative Agency (RCA), but it also provides policy guidance for our various partner interventions, especially in the field of entrepreneurship and cooperatives.
National Cooperative Confederation of Rwanda (NCCR)
In Rwanda, there are more than 9,000 primary cooperatives working in different business sectors. They are organized in Unions, and Unions are represented in Federations, while NCCR acts as the only national umbrella of the whole cooperative movement. It was founded in 2010 to support their member cooperatives through capacity development, information sharing as well as advocacy and collaboration with public, private, and civil society organization at local, regional, and international level. The partnership with NCCR aims to strengthen the institutional framework for cooperatives in Rwanda. Therefore, Sparkassenstiftung will support NCCR in its long-term efforts to become a strong national umbrella that serves the whole cooperative movement including financial cooperatives in Rwanda. One of the main objectives of this partnership is, to assist NCCR in its mandate to institutionally strengthen subordinate cooperative organizations, like federations, unions and primary cooperatives (including SACCOs). NCCR together with AMIR acts as the owner of RICEM.
Rwanda Cooperatives Agency (RCA)
RCA is a public institution in charge of regulating and promoting an autonomous and economically viable cooperative movement founded on cooperative values and principles. This includes both non-financial cooperatives and financial cooperatives, i.e. Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs). RCA is the implementer of the Umurenge SACCO Professionalization Project, which has been steered by different Rwandan ministries and government institutions since its start in 2015. The project aims to computerize all 416 Umurenge SACCOs with a core banking software, to consolidate them to 30 District-level SACCOs in a multi-merger process, and to establish a Cooperative Bank.
Rwanda Institute of Cooperatives, Entrepreneurship and Microfinance (RICEM)
The Rwanda Institute of Cooperatives, Entrepreneurship and Microfinance (RICEM) is a nationally accredited vocational education service provider catering to the Rwandan Cooperatives, Entrepreneurs, and Microfinance Institutions. It provides vocational training and consultancy services in the three before-mentioned sectors to foster skills and capacity development in Rwanda. Sparkassenstiftung has accompanied local partners in the establishment of RICEM from the earliest phase. The official opening of the training academy was in 2014. In 2019, RICEM has started to operate as a private company.
Independent University of Rwanda (ULK)
ULK is a private institution of higher learning with the mission to provide its students with training that will enable them to become actors and organizers of a complete development of the nation. ULK currently teaches more than 9,000 students for bachelor’s and master’s degree at their two campuses in Kigali and Gisenyi. It follows the motto “Science and Conscience”.
Association of Microfinance Institutions in Rwanda (AMIR)
AMIR is the only umbrella organization of MFIs operating in Rwanda since 2007 with the core mission is to offer diversified services to microfinance institutions to enable them to work professionally and contribute to poverty reduction in a sustainable manner. It seeks to build a flourishing microfinance sector in Rwanda through different areas of advocacy and information, research and development, responsible finance, performance monitoring and capacity building. Its membership represents more than 90% of the microfinance sector in Rwanda with an aim of integrating all MFIs and SACCOs operating in Rwanda so that to serve them under one umbrella. Sparkassenstiftung started partnership with AMIR in 2009 until September 2020.
Tanzania Association of Microfinance Institutions (TAMFI)
TAMFI is a non-profit umbrella organisation for micro finance institutions in Tanzania. It was formally registered in 2001 as a sole network for micro finance activities in Dar es-Salaam, Tanzania. Members include commercial, community and microfinance banks, NGOs, private MFIs, SACCOs, apex of informal groups, micro-insurance companies and business service providers. The current 99 member institutions of TAMFI reach out to approximately 1.2 million micro entrepreneurs in urban and rural areas. These are micro entrepreneurs who are committed to change their financial behaviours. The association seeks to develop capability of micro finance institutions and the micro finance sector in general through advocacy, lobbying, responsible micro finance, capacity building, and information gathering and dissemination.
Sparkassenstiftung has been supporting TAMFI to achieve their goal by providing strategic advisory services, needs-based trainings for TAMFI’s members and training of management through management games, training of trainers to their staff and helping them on assessing their IT system. Through these services provided by Sparkassenstiftung, TAMFI’s ability has improved to provide efficient and quality services to member financial institutions. Furthermore, the partnership has contributed to financial inclusion goals by combining expertise, resources, and common objectives.
Tanzania Cooperative Development Commission (TCDC)
TCDC is a government institution established in 2014 by the Cooperative Societies Act and is mandated to regulate and promote development of the cooperative sector. Located in Dodoma, Tanzania, TCDC aims to be a leading organization in Africa that promotes development of modern and commercial cooperative societies that meet global standards and requirements of the Cooperative Movement. The commission is aiming to provide efficient and effective regulatory and promotional services for the establishment of vibrant, modern and commercial cooperative societies in Tanzania.
The scope of the partnership of Sparkassenstiftung with TCDC, centres about supporting to devise a more efficient structure and professional operation of the SACCOs, digitalization, and the conduction of micro business games and farmers business games to advance financial education among the members of the SACCOs. This has been one the major achievements in capacity building of cooperative sector through training of trainers for their cooperative officers and many SACCOs under the guidance of TCDC.
SELF Microfinance Fund (SELF MF)
SELF MF is a wholesale microfinance fund providing loans to micro-finance intermediaries such as, microfinance companies, SACCOs, and community banks for lending to underserved entrepreneurs in rural and urban areas. It also provides capacity building and institutional support to MFIs for growth and delivery of sustainable financial services. SELF MF strives to improve access to microfinance services for the poor, especially in rural areas, through loans and or savings, to promote awareness and catalyse the formation of Community Based Organizations (CBOs), as well as to enhance the capacity of existing, Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs), to render better services to their target clients.
The partnership focuses on strategic advisory services as well as on strategic and business planning, training of management, training of trainers for their staff and supporting the assessment of their IT system. This has helped to improve the structure and the operation of the fund. A major achievement was the transition of SELF MF from a project into a business organization with qualified staff and assured sustainability, and later the merger with another financial institution.
Savings and Credit Cooperative Union League of Tanzania (SCCULT)
SCCULT is an umbrella organization for SACCOs in Tanzania, it was registered in 1992. They are lobbyists, representing the interests of SACCOs to the national government and a service provider offering accountancy training, loans, internal inspections, bulk SMS, risk management, stationery, legal advice and marketing support to SACCOs. It also organizes networking events for members, including the annual World SACCOs Day celebration and workshops on current issues throughout the year. SCCULT currently seeks financial support from governmental and non-governmental organisations, both within and outside of Tanzania, in order to improve its service and outreach to SACCOs and their members.
The partnership’s purpose is to join forces with SCCULT’s board and management to revive the organization after a period of decommissioning. Sparkassenstiftung Tanzania still supporting them by providing strategic advisory services, professionalizing the management, training the members of the SACCOs, digitalization as well as helping to revise SCCULT’s strategic plan and enhance the effectiveness of its operations.
AKIBA COMMERCIAL BANK PLC (ACB)
ACB was established in 1997 by Tanzanian businessmen with the objective of serving the banking needs of the poorest of Tanzanians who were hitherto unbanked and had not served by the large commercial banks until then. It is one of the commercial banks licensed by the Bank of Tanzania, the central bank and national banking regulator. ACB aims to be the preferred banking partner for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises, by striving to provide inclusive innovative financial solutions in the most efficient and sustainable manner.
ACB offers various products and services such as deposit, loans, insurance services and other services like Akiba mobile, E-statements, TISS (Tanzania Inter-bank Settlement System), SWIFT and ATM services.
Today, ACB has expanded its services beyond Dar es-Salaam and successfully established itself as a strong presence in Tanzanian banking sector, which has one of the highest numbers of banks in Africa. ACB has also broadened its reach and is now able to provide financial services to customers of all levels including college and university students, entire families, homeowners, business owners as well as private operations.
The partnership with ACB focuses on the provision of financial education to students in schools. One of the achievements through this collaboration, was the implementation of World Savings Week 2019 in Mwanza, where ACB, Sparkassenstiftung, local teachers and students participated to educate the community about the importance of savings.
Association of Microfinance Institutions of Uganda (AMFIU)
The Association of Microfinance Institutions of Uganda (AMFIU) is an umbrella organisation of Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in Uganda. AMFIU was founded in November 1996 through the collaboration of several organisations with interest in microfinance. The main reasons for its establishment were the felt need for MFIs to have a common voice; to lobby government for favourable policies; to share information and experiences; and to link up and network with both local and international actors. Sparkassenstiftung Uganda is supporting AMFIU to achieve their goals by providing technical support to enable them to provide sustainable and professional services to their members, promoting financial education by establishing children saving clubs in schools, equipping MFI staff and clients with knowledge and skills to thrive their businesses using Sparkassenstiftung´s Business Games. Additionally, together we are establishing the Dual Apprenticeship system with a certified competence-based curriculum to bring forth well-rounded and highly skilled professionals that close the existing skill gaps within the microfinance sector. Another important topic in our cooporation is the digitalization of Ugandan microfinance institutions with an aim of enhancing the efficiency and sustainability of the microfinance industry in Uganda.
Uganda Cooperative Savings and Credit Union Limited (UCSCU)
Uganda Cooperative Savings and Credit Union Limited (UCSCU) is a national apex organization for Savings and credit Cooperative Societies (SACCO) in Uganda. Established in 1972, UCSCU, as the umbrella body of Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs) has unwaveringly encouraged the formation and development of safe and sound SACCOs to ensure that financial services reach the population across the country as a way of encouraging savings mobilization and use of these savings deposits as a source of investment capital to rural enterprises in form of loans. Sparkassenstiftung Uganda is working in partnership with UCSCU by providing technical support to enable UCSCU to provide sustainable and professional services to their members SACCOs, promoting financial education by establishing children saving clubs in schools, equipping SACCO staff and customers with knowledge and skills for their businesses to thrive using Sparkassenstiftung´s Business Games and Digitalization of the Ugandan SACCOs with an aim of enhancing the efficiency and sustainability of the SACCO sector in Uganda.