> Posted by Center Staff

The microfinance industry in sub-Saharan Africa, boasting roughly 6.6 million clients, is growing fast. This expansion of financial services to the base of the pyramid, bolstered by an increasingly diverse array of providers and products, is enabling many lower-income individuals, entrepreneurs, and households to access and use essential tools like loans and savings accounts for the first time. To ensure the stability and success of the institutions that provide services, however, strong institutional governance and risk management needs to be a core priority. A new CFI initiative, generously supported by The MasterCard Foundation, sets out to address this.

The Accion Africa Board Fellowship Program aims to strengthen the governance expertise of the CEOs and board members of Africa’s microfinance leaders. Open to financial institutions serving the base of the pyramid in sub-Saharan Africa, the Fellowship provides microfinance leaders with critical learning opportunities with peers and global experts, in face-to-face and online settings.

Launching its inaugural class in the spring of 2015, each nine-month fellowship begins and ends with an in-person peer-learning seminar. During the seminars, governance and risk management experts facilitate active dialogue and knowledge-exchange on key issues. Throughout the course of the program, a participant-led virtual community – maintained through webinars, online meetings, discussion forums, and knowledge-sharing activities – will regularly connect fellows with each other and with industry experts and targeted resources. Each fellow will be supported by a program advisor who aids the fellow in defining and achieving personal and institution-specific goals for the program.

The Fellowship Program is also supported by FMO and is being implemented in partnership with Calmeadow.

For more information on the Accion Africa Board Fellowship Program, including how to apply, click here.

Video credit: The Center for Financial Inclusion

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