The SBFIC delegation visit “auspiciously” augurs well new partnership phase between AMIR and SBFIC
Nowadays, it is obvious that affordable access to financial services for everyone strongly contributes to the economic development of countries, and finally to poverty reduction.
SBFIC delegation visited AMIR to meet AMIR officials for discussing about the progress of SBFIC-AMIR projects. SBFIC delegates commend the work done so far. According to one of the SBFIC delegates, considering the promising working style of the country: Rwanda is ranked the 2nd partnering country among all of the SBFIC partnering countries worldwide, after Mexico. This was revealed by the CEO/SBFIC, Mr. Bergmann. The delegation visited AMIR was composed of Niclaus Bergmann, Annika Peukert and Marko Broschinski.
Mr. Bergmann is CEO of Savings Banks Foundation for International Cooperation (worldwide), Annika Peukert is Project Referent for East Africa and Marko Broschinski is Regional Coordinator for East Africa.
SBFIC was established in 1992 as not-for-profit, non-governmental organization by the German Savings Banks Finance Group. Since then SBFIC is supporting the financial sector development worldwide, particularly in developing countries.
SBFIC Rwanda has been established in 2008, and is part of the SBFIC East Africa Regional Program. All activities in Rwanda are being carried out in collaboration with the Government of Rwanda and partner organizations from the local private sector.
SBFIC Rwanda and AMIR since 2008, have been working together and they recorded remarkable achievements. These achievements can be grouped into three main partnership pillars namely: component of Microfinance – vocational education and AMIR’s sustainability.
Program Component: Microfinance
- Professionalization of Umurenge SACCO Sector:
- Consolidation of U-SACCO at District level (District SACCO):COOPERATIVE BANK establishment
- SBFIC-AMIR support RICEM sustainability
- Dual apprentice program introduced in Rwanda through AMIR Programs
- Ongoing Coaching programs of AMIR members
- Overall contribution to AMIR sustainability by supporting AMIR Consult
- Performance Monitoring System/Tool
- Support the ownership of AMIR offices(AMIR HOUSE RENOVATION)
- Capacity building of AMIR members/staff and Board members
- Establishment of shared IT services platform; Provision of audit services; A nationwide Financial Education Program for the youth and young adults;
- Visibility of AMIR, such as annual celebration of the World Savings Week; Production of AMIR quarterly magazine; Support AMIR in regional networking. Eg. East African Microfinance Forum, Annual microfinance week and CEO round tables, CEO Break fast meetings and retreats.
Program Component: Vocational Education
This component’s goal is to systematize vocational training for microfinance, entrepreneurship and cooperative management, and to continuously improve the training quality while making it available to a growing number of practitioners; in this regard SBFIC Rwanda provides management consultancy services, facilitates curriculum and training module development including a dual training approach with industrial attachment, supports microfinance trainings and the Management Simulation for Micro-Entrepreneurs, among others .
- SBFIC Rwanda provided support in establishing the AMIR’s economic arm “AMIR Consult”
- SBFIC played a key role (financial, technical and advisory support) facilitating AMIR secretariat to secure its own office building
Considering the work done so far, AMIR – SBFIC Rwanda have achieved a lot, but, one may assert that there is a need of extending the partnership, thought the current cooperative agreement touches its end in 2018.
“Continued support is needed to sustain the innovations initiated and the growth of the sector such as RICEM which is still young; AMIR Consult and shared services projects; Dual training system that was launched end of 2016, market engagement and so on (…) AMIR is well positioned to contribute to the development of the microfinance sector. Without SBFIC Rwanda, AMIR would not have recorded such achievements in financial inclusion.” This is an extract from the discussions held during the visit.
According to the SBFIC’s perception, AMIR’s expectation to extend the partnership is not far from what SBFIC is intending. There is a hope that SBFIC is extending its partnership with AMIR for the next couple of years.
“Considering the incredible work being done in Rwanda vis-à-vis our programmatic intervention, SBFIC would love to be part of the key players of the 2020 vision” Mr. Bergmann said.