The Improving Rural Financial Inclusion Through Cooperatives (IRFITCO) Project
The Improving Rural Financial Inclusion Through Cooperatives (IRFITCO) was a project funded by IFAD and implemented jointly by ACCOSCA and the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada (CDF-Canada the Lead Agency) and the Irish League of Credit Union Foundation (ILCUF). ACCOSCA was tasked to manage the 4-year project aspects that related to Tanzania, while CDF and ILCUF managed project aspects that related to Malawi and Ethiopia, respectively. The project aimed to improve sustainable rural financial inclusion through a cooperative economic system.
Implementation of this project began in the year 2017, and several key milestones were achieved in line with project’s components as follows:
Revival of Tanzania’s National SACCO Apex
The Savings and Credit Co-Operative Union of Tanzania (SCCULT) was revived with the project’s support and has since been in full operation. The following key aspects are in place:
SCCULT Staff Training
Numerous trainings have been conducted to build the capacity of SCCULT board members, staff, SACCO leaders, SACCO managers, and TCDC staff. Training areas include Good Governance and Leadership, Product Development, Regulation and Supervision, Performance Management, Board Orientation, and Code of Ethics and Strategic Plan Development. These pieces of training are done through the project-organized workshops and ACCOSCA forums (Annual SACCA Congress, Annual regional meetings, Regulatory Round Table, and DE course).
Knowledge Management and Sharing.
As part of the project objectives, pertinent policy documentations were developed, as well as exposure visits to enhance knowledge management and sharing. These included technical notes on regulation, inspection manual for SACCOs, risk management policy, code of conduct for board members, board charter, standard by-laws for the National Association, and financial literacy technical note. In addition, the planned exposures led to visits to Ghana, Gambia, Kenya, and Nigeria by the Registrar of Cooperatives and SCCULT board members to learn more about the operations of SACCO National Apex in those countries.