Sylvester Kadzola, a member of World Council of Credit Unions' board of directors, represents the Malawi credit union movement as a delegate of the Malawi Union of Savings & Credit Cooperatives (MUSCCO). Headquartered in Madison, Wis., USA, World Council is the leading international trade association and development agency for credit unions. Worldwide, 57,000 credit unions in 103 countries serve 208,000,000 people. The regional and national credit union and financial cooperative associations affiliated with World Council represent 55 countries around the globe.
Sylvester Kadzola holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Malawi and a master's degree in business administration from the Maastricht School of Management, and was a Hubert Humphrey Fellow in economic development at American University. He is a financial cooperatives professional with more than 20 years experience in financial cooperatives development and management. Kadzola has also over the years received extensive training in credit union management and microfinance from the University of Wisconsin, University of Colorado and Harvard University. He qualified as a certified international credit union development educator in 2014.
Kadzola is chief executive officer of the Malawi Union of Savings and Credit Cooperatives. In his home country of Malawi, Kadzola is a founder member and trustee of the Malawi Microfinance Network. He also sits on the boards of the Natural Resources College, Auction Holding Commodity Exchange and the Malawi Lake Basin Program, a rural livelihoods improvement program comprising a consortium of five organizations: Farmers Union of Malawi, National Smallholders Farmers Association of Malawi, Malawi Union of Savings and Credit Cooperatives, We Effect and Vi-Agro Forestry. In addition, he is chairperson of the steering committee set up by the World Bank and Reserve Bank of Malawi to oversee the implementation of a technology platform that links credit unions to the national payment system.
Kadzola is convinced and strongly believes that, through cooperatives, Africa can escape debilitating poverty levels that afflict the vast majority of Africans. His wish is to see that all economic development planning, particularly to do with rural development, is centered on a cooperative development model. Kadzola is a strong advocate for credit union specific laws and separate regulatory institutions for credit unions. He believes cooperatives should be a way of life, not just project interventions.