Sunday, April 21, 2013

Opportunity International CEO Conference April 2013...

An intensive session for two days
Once or twice a year, Opportunity International holds the CEO conference. It used to be for Africa Region, but Eastern Europe colleagues started attending it from a year ago and it has now become a combined session. Also, Global Microfinance Operations or GMO colleagues regularly attend this conference. GMO is a shared management services that provide support for all Implementing Members of Opportunity International Network.

Moreover, supporting members such as OI US, OI UK and OI Canada colleagues also attend this conference regularly to better understand the programs and needs of implementing members in Africa because of the strategic importance of African countries.

Along with all these people, many board members also attend the conference.

April this year, a total of 36 people attend the conference. 12 CEOs, 12 GMO staff and 12 board members. This time, the conference had an interesting mix.

Unlike previous conferences, this year has special sessions, called Deep Dive for each implementing member. Each implementing member CEO has given a two-hour presentation about his or her operation in details. Quite a detailed presentation was followed by many detailed questions. I gave a presentation about UOB on the first day.

A scenery of the hotel
We reviewed the first quarter performance plus the last year's performance. Emphasis is placed on what we do for transformation and non-financial services. I shared the challenges we face in the aftermath of the suspended or reduced foreign development aid and introduced several new initiatives, including Client Service Point (CSP) Strategy, Holistic Community Development and Linkage Loans. My presentation of 72 slides was well received, thanks to God's grace.

Franschhoek is a wine country nested in the valley. A stream flows next to the hotel where we are staying and the scenery is beautiful. It is an early autumn in S. Africa and tree leaves have started changing the colors.

A two-day session discussed in depth about T24 model bank migration. Opportunity Bank of Malawi has begun the migration process to T24 R10 standard version due to the system instability. Opportunity Bank of Uganda and UOB are up next scheduled for August. We have formed a task force that will work to prepare for the migration. - Jeffrey

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