The Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD) in partnership with Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI) and Access to Finance Rwanda (AFR) will host an International Conference on Best Practices in Rural and Agricultural Finance organized by the African Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (AFRACA) from 1st to 3rd August 2016 at the Kigali Marriott Hotel.
Speaking during a press conference announcing the AFRACA event, BRD chief executive officer, Alex Kanyankole told journalists that the conference will be held under the theme ‘fast-tracking replicability of functional models in rural and agricultural finance’; and will bring together over 250 international, regional and local experts and stakeholders in rural and agricultural finance to share their best practices and experiences.
“The key conference sessions will focus on policy perspectives on scalable and replicable models in rural and agricultural finance, regional perspectives on inclusive finance models in agriculture and perspectives from other stakeholders and interest groups on best practices in rural and agricultural finance,” he explained.
Taking alongside the conference will be a Training of Trainers (ToT) on agricultural value chain.
Kanyankole said the expected outcomes from the conference will include a review and stock taking of regional and international best practices and experience in rural and agricultural finance, an assessment of the challenges hampering replicability of best practice models in agri-finance and making of recommendations and action plans for fast-tracking uptake.
He added that they will also recommend scalable and replicable models in agricultural finance to member institutions and stakeholders and develop a framework for identification of ‘centres of excellence’ on best practices in rural and agricultural finance in the region.
The African Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (AFRACA) was established in 1977 as a regional association of Sub-Saharan financial institutions involved in providing financial services to the rural population of the region.
The AFRACA secretariat is based in Nairobi, Kenya and its membership is open and consists of central, commercial and agricultural banks, development institutions, non-government institutions and microfinance operators and their networks across Africa.
AFRACA’s goal is to build a strong and sustainable regional network of banks and microfinance institutions among others that provide opportunities for learning among members and promotes rural and agricultural finance in Africa.
In Rwanda, there are two member institutions of AFRACA which are BRD since 2013 and BPR part of Atlas Mara.
AFRACA has so far organized various conferences and trainings in different regions of Africa focusing on agriculture financing and rural development.
Its programs are organized around a thematic approach to rural and agricultural finance implemented through activities and workshops on cross-cutting topics such as policy development and advocacy, capacity building, knowledge and information sharing services, partnership and networking programs and creating opportunities for agriculture value chain finance in Africa.
AFRACA’s key partners include Technical Center for Agricultural & Rural Cooperation (CTA) and the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) among others.
Its sister networks include the Asia Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (APRACA), Association of Latin American Development Finance Institutions (ALIDE), Confederation Internationale de Credit Agricole (CICA) and Near East North Africa Regional Credit Association (NENARACA).