Microsoft Joins with World Council to Fast-track Innovation in Financial Services

WOCCU

Parties will work to establish a framework for the digital transformation of SACCOs in Kenya

NAIROBI--Microsoft East Africa, through the support of its 4Afrika initiative, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) to help accelerate digital transformation within the Savings and Credit Cooperative (SACCO) sector.

SACCOs play a key role in Kenya’s economic strategy, bolstering income-generating opportunities and more recently contributing to around 5.7 percent of the country’s GDP. According to the Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA), they form an important part of the deposit taking and lending market in Kenya, providing financial services to around six million households across the country.

“SACCOs have an increasingly important part to play in the region’s growth and development. Microsoft is on a mission to support these organizations by helping remove some of the barriers to digital transformation within the sector. Given the urgent need for SACCOs to provide members with digital services, we feel we can add significant value to the ongoing success and sustainability of the industry,” said Amrote Abdella, Regional Director, Microsoft 4Afrika.

Microsoft 4Afrika will work with WOCCU to understand digital transformation challenges faced by the sector through the implementation of ideation workshops. WOCCU’s Technology for Innovation and Financial Inclusion Project (TIFI) will identify SACCOs and key partners like IRNet Coop Kenya to participate in these workshops, where they will collaborate with Microsoft on developing digital transformation use cases. Together Microsoft and WOCCU will then collate the findings and recommendations from the workshops and develop proof of concepts that can be tested by the SACCOs and fully deployed once they prove they meet sector demands.

Leveraging Microsoft 4Afrika programs to close the skills gaps in target SACCOs, a training curriculum will be developed to accelerate the adoption of these digital solutions and empower the SACCOs to continuously evolve as the needs of their members evolve. Microsoft will further play a key role in identifying partners that can the support the development of solutions and business strategies within the sector.

“COVID-19 has accelerated the need for SACCOs to evolve and embrace digital channels. Empowering them to embark on this journey is not only critical to their sustainability, but also the key to unlocking further growth potential within the region,” said Megan O’Donnell, WOCCU Vice President of Financial Inclusion.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more.

The 4Afrika Initiative is Microsoft’s business and market development engine in Africa. Launched in 2013, it aims to unlock and accelerate Africa’s potential to create technology not only for the continent, but for the world.

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World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development platform for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.

World Council has implemented 300+ technical assistance programs in 90 countries. Worldwide, 86,055 credit unions in 118 countries serve 291 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.

Contact: Greg Neumann
E-mail: gneumann@woccu.org
Phone: +1 608-395-2048

World Council of Credit Unions
5710 Mineral Point Road Madison, WI 53705-4493 USA
Phone: +1-608-395-2000 | Fax: +1-608-395-2001 | mail@woccu.org | www.woccu.org