We are thrilled to bring to your attention a new publication commissioned by the MasterCard Foundation and International Finance Corporation “Digital access: The Future of Financial Inclusion in Africa”. This publication highlights the phenomenal success of digital financial services in Sub-Saharan Africa. It captures the experience and knowledge gained by IFC and the MasterCard Foundation in supporting the growth of digital finance in Africa under the joint Partnership for Financial Inclusion since 2012. The report also looks at some of the challenges that will have to be addressed to continue progress in financial inclusion. For instance, to expand financial services to the last mile will require investments in merchant and agent networks, and innovation along agricultural value chains. As well, financial service providers will need to develop and launch products that meet an increasingly nuanced demand from an even broader variety of users, such as entrepreneurs, merchants, smallholder farmers, youth and women.
Second highlight of this month is a toolkit published by the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) “Access to finance for renewable energy technologies”. In recent years, donors and financial services providers have increasingly invested in demonstration projects to facilitate access to financial services for renewable energy technologies (RETs). Building on the lessons learned from these projects, the purpose of this toolkit is to provide guidance to country programme managers, project design teams, and implementing partners on how to develop financial services for access to RETs in rural areas. It focuses on end-user finance for individual/stand-alone RETs for rural households, smallholder farmers, and rural micro, small and medium enterprises; RETs for communities require very different types of financial instruments or schemes, so they are not addressed here. This note also provides specific recommendations for product design and project implementation.
Third highligh is the 24th Edition of the Boulder MFT in English featuring the Digital Financial Services Concentration will be held in Turin, Italy at the International Training Centre of the International Labour Organization from July 23rd to August 3rd, 2018. The program will offer 20 elective courses to choose from delivered by over 30 world-renowned experts on financial inclusion. This year program will also include 6 cutting-edge courses on strategy, product design, agent banking, digital credit, and digital finance ecosystems and will bring together financial inclusion professionals from around the world representing MFIs, Commercial Banks, Central Banks, Ministries of Finance, Donor Agencies, Investors, Development Agencies and more.
Finally, we would like to remind 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.
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: