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ICCO and AUXFIN Boost Digital Financial Inclusion in Rural Areas

ICCO and AUXFIN join forces to develop agricultural value chains and to boost digital financial inclusion in rural areas.

ICCO and AUXFIN Boost Digital Financial Inclusion in Rural Areas

In order to support agribusiness activities in Burundi, ICCO COOPERATION and social enterprise AUXFIN have decided to combine their efforts to jointly support the development and financing of value chains to promote the agricultural sector as a whole. ICCO and AUXFIN want to work together to strengthen the development of market-oriented agriculture in Burundi as the mandates of both organizations reflect complementarities.

Fight against food security and poverty

The partnership between ICCO and AUXFIN is part of contributing to the fight against food
insecurity and poverty in rural areas through the development of agricultural value chains and access to financial services for farmers. The two organizations will rely on complementarities in their interventions with the populations of the rural world both for the development and for the financing of the agricultural value chains each in its area of specialization.

AUXFINs UMVA platform gives countries the possibility to organize microfinance institutes (MFI’s) for local transfers, development of new technology, such as cards, atm’s, branchless banking and mobile banking. Via this platform AUXFIN works on financial and social inclusion through the Community activation platform (CAP) approach, composed of six pillars:
- Access to finance
- Work and salary
- Health
- Governance
- Education
- Social
This is being achieved through its network of G50s (groups of 50 households).

ICCO works on the links of production, marketing and financing of value chains, through households and producer organisations in rural areas, processing units and MFIs. AUXFIN is keen to expand the number of MFIs connected to UMVA, while ICCO has expressed a desire to connect its operational partners to the UMVA platform.

ICCO wil build on the work of its Microfinance, Agri-finance et Chaînes de Valeur program (MAVC) and a project that supports the development of innovative finance for rural Burundi, which will start in 2020 with a French name: Projet d'appui au developemment de la finance innovatrice rurale au Burundi. (PADFIR programs).

Pieter Spaarman, Country Representative Burundi of ICCO Cooperation: Both ICCO and AUXFIN have been key actors in Burundi for a long period and today's signing of a formal agreement of collaboration between the 2 institutions is a great milestone, as it creates opportunities to enhance the results and impact of our interventions. Although there is much talk about cooperation between NGOs and the private sector, making it happen often proves to be challenging. We are therefore even more pleased with the achievement of this partnership.

Cornelis Heesbeen, CEO of AUXFIN:  AUXFIN aims to deliver financial and non-financial solutions that are accessible to all, including vulnerable populations with low literacy and numeracy skills, limited access to internet, no- or low access to electricity, and limited experience with mobile and other technologies. Today is a day of celebration as we can now start to make the fruits of ICCO's work in Burundi available to our national network of farmers through the UMVA platform, together with their operational partners. Moreover, we are excited about the possibility to combine our work on the agricultural value chains, allowing us to leverage the impact of the applications AgriCoach and AgriMonitor.

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