April 2018

In this Issue

From the Editor

Dear RFILC members,

We are thrilled to announce that the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) have joined the Improving Capacity Building in Rural Finance (CABFIN) partnership as a member and associate respectively. We are so proud to have these two organization helping to lead the way in the fight against poverty and hunger by coordinating, cooperating, and harmonizing in the field of rural finance and agricultural investment, and the timing couldn’t be more perfect. These concrete goals offer a path towards hope for so many, but they can only be achieved if we all work together to do our part. Join us in congratulating them during this exciting time.

Our April’s newsletter is related to the topic of financial inclusion. Billions of adults and youth in the rural and remote areas lack access to the financial services they need to achieve even modest levels of financial well-being. Many households and small businesses in emerging markets have no or very limited access to formal financial services. Achieving financial inclusion and financial security is not an end in itself, but a means to an end. Therefore, we would like to highlight the newly published report by the International Finance Corporation, CreditEase and Stanford Graduate School of Business “Financial Inclusion in the Digital Age”. This report highlights some of the central frictions that prevent greater financial inclusion and financial well-being, and associated technological innovations that are fostering creative new approaches to mitigating these frictions for individuals and small businesses globally. The innovations outlined in the report highlight different solutions to the three core problems across countries at different stages of development: access, product market fit, and cost.

The second highlight of this month is a new report “Exploring New Frontiers in Fintech Investments in East Africa” published by Intellecap and East Africa Venture Capital Association (EAVCA).This report traces back the evolution of FinTech on one of Africa’s early adopting regions, East Africa and covers the views of various key players in the ecosystem, each providing the unique examples and value propositions, in an attempt to demystify this complex ecosystem. The report’s core explores the funding options currently available for the sector ranging from debt offering, grants and equity provision. With the increased success of FinTech players in East Africa, investors are keen to understand the opportunities available for capital deployment in East Africa’s FinTech space.

Finally, we would like to inform you that the 4th Edition of the Boulder Rural and Agricultural Finance Program (RAFP) will take place in Utrecht, the Netherlands at the Rabobank Group Headquarters from July 16th to July 27th, 2018. This program created with FAO and CABFIN, a collaborative workgroup including IFAD, FAO, GIZ, UNCDF, WFP and the World Bank, is a highly specialized program offered for experienced rural and agricultural finance practitioners and institutions. The two weeks immersion program will be offered in English, with 12 elective courses to choose from and a total of 70 academic course hours delivered by Boulder Faculty. This diverse group of world-renowned agrifinance experts will cover a broad range of topics and viewpoints on how to efficiently reach financial inclusion for smallholder farmers. The rationale of the program is to create a forum for participants to deeply reflect on their specific challenges, where they canshare ideas and strategies on how to face the agricultural finance sector's pressing issues, using new tools and a fresh perspective. Please click here for registration.

With best regards,
The RFILC editorial team

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The Rural Finance and Investment Learning Centre is a part of the CABFIN Partnership Project which aims to promote and facilitate capacity building in rural finance. The concerns of rural finance are to ensure that people living in rural areas have access to financial services such as deposit and money transfer facilities, insurance and loan products. Effective use of these services can help to improve livelihoods and reduce rural poverty. The following CABFIN Partners have provided financial support to the RFILC: