Saturday, March 20, 2010

DFID and Access to Finance Rwanda (AFR) ...

[DFID]................................... [The World Bank]

On March 18th, DFID launched a new development program in Rwanda, called Access to Finance Rwanda or AFR. DFID stands for Department for International Development and is the U.K.'s international development agency.

AFR is an independent non-profit organization that will work at macro, meso and micro levels to help expand the access to finance for the people of Rwanda. Surely their focus is on the poor since 65% of the resources will be allocated to the micro level.

AFR is different from other programs in that it may be funded by other NGOs and governments. Initially, AFR is funded 10 million sterling pounds by DFID and co-funded $1 million by World Bank.

I had an opportunity to present what UOB is doing to overcome the challenges that we are facing in helping the poor. My presentation was focused on five challenges and UOB's creative solutions in response to the challenges: i.e. financial illiteracy, inherent risks to agricultural finance, limited cash access points, poor infrastructure and lack of capital and assets (collateral.) Care International was also presenting what it is doing to serve the informal sectors through the voluntary savings and loan (VSL) program. The presentation was very well received by the group that comprised representatives of the Rwandan government, NGOs, banks, MFIs and international development agencies. Praise the Lord!

We are hoping and anticipating to take some initiatives in serving the poor with the financial assistance of AFR. May the good Lord help us go through the process well! - Jeffrey

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