Long-time partners, Développement international Desjardins (DID) and the Confederation of Financial Institutions of West Africa (CIF) signed a general collaboration agreement on January 14. The 2 organizations agreed to join their efforts to strengthen the financial ecosystems in the countries of the CIF member institutions and increase their impact on the economic and social empowerment of marginalized populations, particularly women and youth.
This collaboration will cover several areas of common interest:
- Financing agricultural development and the green economy
- Entrepreneurship development and financing
- Financial literacy
- Adoption of innovations and integration of technology and digital finance for marginalized populations
The agreement that was just signed confirms and strengthens a collaboration that's existed for nearly 3 decades between DID, the CIF and its 6 member cooperative networks. This collaboration has led to many achievements and advances, starting with the creation of some of the CIF member networks as well as the Financial Innovation Center, the precursor of the CIF. The joint achievements of DID and the CIF also include the establishment of a provident fund and the creation of the insurance companies that are now affiliated with the CIF, the creation of a central fund, and the modernization and computerization of member networks.
About the CIF
The CIF is a regional grouping of 6 major financial cooperative apex organizations in 5 countries of the West African Monetary Union zone:
- Faîtière des caisses populaires du Burkina (FCPB)
- Faîtière des caisses d'épargne et de crédit agricole mutuel (FECECAM-Benin)
- Faîtière des unités coopératives d'épargne et de crédit du Togo (FUCEC-Togo)
- Nyèsigiso savings and credit unions in Mali
- Kafo Jiginew savings and credit unions in Mali
- Union des mutuelles du partenariat pour la mobilisation de l'épargne et du crédit au Sénégal (UM-PAMECAS).
As of December 31, 2020, the CIF network totaled 819 points of service and reached more than 4.5 million people in West Africa, 35% of whom were farmers, 45% women and 25% youth. The network employs 5,200 people, 48% of whom are women.