The challenges of ensuring that African Development Finance Institutions operate under appropriate environment are very enormous. Most African National and State – owned DFIs have had to contend with issues of inadequate capital base, non conducive operating financial environment, poor corporate governance, adverse interference by owner governments, and lack of adequate internal capacity among others.
However, the Association of African Development Finance Institutions (AADFI) has been living up to its mandate by ensuring that these challenges are addressed and the trends reversed to positive. As an organization with mandate of advocating for healthy operating conditions for DFIs in Africa, building their capacities and fostering stronger synergy among these institutions, AADFI has continued to live up to its responsibilities. Significantly, AADFI has consistently been transforming its processes, activities and services to ensure that current challenges and needs of its member – institutions and stakeholders are met.
In an effort to ensure that African DFIs operate under international best standards and practices, the AADFI with the support of strategic stakeholders evolved a Prudential Standards, Guidelines and Rating System (PSGRS) Document for its member – institutions.
The PSGRS are directed at assessing DFIs in the following three (3) key areas: Governance Standards, Financial Prudential Standards, and Operational Standards. The aim of the PSGRS was to help DFIs identify their areas of weaknesses with a view to applying corrective measures to address identified weaknesses, thereby ensuring that African DFIs operate under international best practices.
As step further, AADFI has started a Peer Review of its member – institutions using the PSGRS. The first Peer Review exercise was conducted in November 2009, while the next exercise is scheduled for 2011. The exercise would be conducted every two years. Interestingly, the PSGRS mechanism has started yielding results as evidenced by the rate at which DFIs have embraced it in their institutional reform effort.
In the area of capacity- building, the AADFI has re-engineered its activities and has also enlisted the partnership of some institutions to drive this mandate. Recently, the AADFI Secretariat signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) with the Association of Development Finance Institutions in Asia and the Pacific. AADFI has also strengthened partnership with SADC- DFRC, Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) Vulindlela Academy, Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa (IDC) among others with a view to scaling up capacity – building among its member – institutions. These efforts have also been yielding dividend.
Within the period January 2010 to June 2010, the Association has organized the following capacity – building training activities;
1. Risk Management in Development Banks & Finance Institutions; March 8 – 12, 2010 South Africa (Language-French and English)
2.Study Tour Programme on SME Financing and Development in Asia (Malaysia) March 22 -26, 2010 (with the support of ADFIAP) (Language-French and English)
3. 2010 Annual General Assembly Workshop: May 24, 2010. Abidjan – Cote d’Ivoire
Theme “Sustaining Development Financing Momentum in the Light of the Global Credit Crunch; New Strategies & Options for African DFIs”
(Language- French and English)
4. High Level Training on Project Monitoring & Evaluation – June 8 – 12, 2010, Nairobi–Kenya (Language-English)
5.Risk Management in Development Banks & Finance Institutions – June 14 – 18, 2010 Abidjan – Cote d’Ivoire (Language-French)
A number of activities are also scheduled for the period August to December 2010. Details of the upcoming programmes can be accessed from the AADFI website: www.adfi-ci.org