Rural Banks in Senegal Upgrade to Cutting Edge Technology
The Hunger Project-Senegal’s Partnership for Information Technology
Through our Microfinance Program and Epicenter Strategy in Africa, 28 Rural Banks have graduated to operate as their own independent, community-owned and women-led rural financial institutions.
The ultimate objective of the Microfinance Program in each epicenter is for the facility to gain government recognition and operate as a licensed Rural Bank, owned entirely by community members and managed by a majority female board. The Rural Bank then provides the entire epicenter community with sustainable access to savings and credit facilities.
Thanks to the leadership of The Hunger Project-Senegal’s Microfinance Program Officer, Ms. Khary Cisse, the three Rural Banks in Senegal recently saw a strong evolution in information technology.
The partnership between the Center for Information Treatment (CTI) and The Hunger Project-Senegal’s Rural Banks led to the delivery of the following, all for the use of the Rural Bank managers and cashiers:
- 10 HP laptop computers
- 10 printer/scanners
- 10 internet modems
- 24 SAFT, Amio and STRATEGO software packages
- 24 Money Transfer Support documents
- 7 boxes of rolled receipt paper
The partnership has also facilitated capacity-building workshops at the rural banks which will cover topics such as software and internet use and equipment management for computers, printers and scanners.
This transition to information technology is currently taking place at Coki, Sanar, Dahra and Mpal Epicenters, and will be extended to the other rural banks in Senegal this year.
How is the equipment at these epicenters powered? By using "Amio" software provided by CTI, rural banks can experience the benefit of these innovations without the need for electricity. The laptops from CTI can function without electricity and only need to be charged once a week.
How are the costs of the project covered? Each Rural Bank provides a yearly stipend in accordance with its size and the contract it has signed with CTI-Senegal.
The Développement International Desjardins (DID), the financial partner of CTI, financed the entire investment related to this Information System. The Information System will generate all of the reports required by the Central Bank of West Africa States (BCEAO) both in real time and automatically, to ensure that the reports meet international reporting standards.
A new era is beginning for the Rural Banks of The Hunger Project-Senegal, which can now offer additional services (such as money transfer to villages) and benefit from recognition by international institutions working on microfinance.
The photo above depicts a workshop for Rural Bank managers and CTI trainers.