Governance and African Microfinance Boards – training by Centre for Financial Inclusion in Africa

More than 2 billion of the world’s poor still lack access to financial services. And Africa provides a substantial portion of that number. And The Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion is committed to changing that.

The Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion (CFI) is an action-oriented think tank working toward full global financial inclusion. Based in the USA, work extends across the globe.

Parent body, Accion, is a fifty-year-old global non-profit, working to build a world in which all people can access the financial tools and services they need to improve their lives was founded by UC Berkeley law student Joseph Blatchford. who recruited two other UC Berkeley law students, Jerry Brady and Gary Glenn, in his dream to transform the financial environment of Latin American barrios in Venezuela. Accion first entered the West African microfinance industry in 2006.

Governance is, more than ever, a critical factor in economic and social development – African Development Bank.

And, now, on our shores, in Cape Town, the CFI is running the second of a series of Governance Programmes for African Board and Executive Members of Microfinance Institutions due to roll out over five years.

The Africa Board Fellowship (ABF) Programme, was launched in June 2015 and included 30 delegates from 13 countries across Africa and concludes this month –  November – when the first cohort of Board Directors of Microfinance Organisations graduate from the first ever Governance Course aimed at CEOs and Board members of African Microfinance Organisations. The ABF programme, in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation, is designed to promote peer-to-peer learning on governance and risk-management practices at financial institutions that serve low-income clients in sub-Saharan Africa.

The programme commences from 11 November 2015 at the African Pride 15 on Orange Hotel. The opening keynote speaker will be South African governance expert, Professor Michael Katz. Faculty for the rest of the programme comes from as far afield as Pakistan, the Philippines, Latin America and more.

The second cohort will commence Phase 1 of the six-month course in the week of 16 November 2015. Graduates of the programme are eligible to continue on to an executive programme with Harvard Business School.


In the words of – Chinyere Almona: IFC Africa Corporate Governance Programme:“Governance strengthening is the key to growth in Africa, and the timing is right for this type of fellowship”


The Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion (CFI) is an action-oriented think tank working toward full global financial inclusion. Constructing a financial inclusion sector that reaches everyone with quality services will require the combined efforts of many actors. CFI contributes to full inclusion by collaborating with sector participants to tackle challenges beyond the scope of any one actor, using tools that include research, convening, capacity building, and communications. To learn more about CFI, visit


More than 2 billion of the world’s poor still lack access to financial services. Accion is more committed than ever to using its 50 years of experience in order to help build a more financially inclusive world. To this end, we will continue to focus sharply on reducing vulnerability and on increasing opportunity for poor households by helping to deliver full financial inclusion – credit, savings, insurance, payments, remittances, financial education, and more – provided at affordable prices, in a convenient manner, and with dignity for clients.

Accion’s goal is to build microfinance institutions that are committed to generating both social and financial value. We seek partner institutions that demonstrate the potential to be the industry’s future leaders in financial inclusion. This includes both institutions with a focus on low-income households and other retail organizations and technologies that provide financial products and services to this same market segment in various ways.

Source: Accion

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