For two days from April 19th to 20th, I attended the Opportunity International Africa CEO conference held in Franschhoek, S. Africa.
[Conference participants chatting after the conference before the dinner on the last day]
Various topics were discussed, including each implementing partner's challenges, creative solutions, the areas that Supporting Partners and/or OI Network Service Organization can help, and main business priorities for 2010. Peter Thorington shared about the new developments that are taking place in leadership changes with Opportunity International. It was encouraging to hear that the full time chairman for the OI Global Network Board will also work on expanding the list of support partners into different countries, such as Japan, S. Korea, Singapore.
The information about new products were also shared, including cell phone banking for OIB Malawi and micro leasing for UOB. One CEO shared how to implement the Self-Assessment Template (SAT) on risk factors with branches. The network CFO shared the network-wide financial analysis of the operating performance and the funding needs for 2010. He also shared the 8 priorities with implementing partners from the Network Service Organization's perspective.
The new CEO for OI US, Bill Morgenstern joined us for the first time and Peter Thorington, Chairman of the OI US Board also attended. The Africa regional chairman, Francis Pelekamoyo led the most of the meeting.
Several people could not attend the meeting because they were stranded somewhere in the U.S. and Europe because of the ashes that were floating in the air in the aftermath of the Iceland volcanic eruption.
Overall, the meeting schedule had to be changed quite a bit because of several people not showing up due to unexpected air hazards, but the conference was fruitful and informative.