Newly Revised Curriculum Of Kenyan SWAMI Institute Tested
The World Council of Credit Unions, Inc.
in coordination with Strathmore University of
Nairobi, Kenya, recently held the first of three
intensive training sessions for management and
board members of African Savings and Credit
Cooperatives (SACCOs). Funding for the program,
called the Strathmore-WOCCU African Management
Institute (SWAMI), has been provided by the
United States Agency for International
Development (USAID) and CUNA Mutual Group
WOCCU and Strathmore were able to offer
scholarships to promising students thanks to the
generous support of American Heritage Federal
Credit Union, the Pennsylvania Credit Union
Association (PCUA) and a coordinated effort
between the Southeast Regional Credit Union
School and the Louisiana Credit Union League
(LCUL). Two leaders from PCUA and LCUL,
assistant vice president Rick Myxter and CEO Anne
Cochran respectively, also volunteered their
time, leading informative workshops.
Tier one of the SWAMI, which ran from November
13, focused on financial management, marketing,
good governance and accounting principles, with
the ultimate goal of ensuring institutional
sustainability among SACCOs. Tiers two and three
will be held in July and November of 2005.
This three-tiered approach marks a departure
the format of prior training programs developed
by WOCCU and Strathmore. "In creating the
current system, organizers considered the
feedback of past participants, the need to focus
on the training of board members and managers,
and the success of the tiered approach as used at
credit union training schools in the US,"
explained Catherine Ford, WOCCU project manager.
The SWAMI curriculum is comprised of two
one for each of the two groups of students—the
SACCO Certified Manager Programme for the
management students and the SACCO Board
Leadership Program for the board members. Twenty-
seven SACCO managers and over thirty SACCO board
members representing South Africa, Kenya and
Seychelles make up the first class of the SWAMI.
"It is very exciting to see so many students
all over Africa participating in the Institute
this year," said Anne Cochran, who has
volunteered her time and expertise over the past
year to creating the Institute. "It has been a
resounding success so far, with terrific
evaluations on the courses and teachers. I
strongly believe that in the near future the
Institute will come to represent a hallmark of
Management students studied financial
governance, WOCCU's PEARLS financial monitoring
system, marketing and policy development. Board
members arrived near the end of the program for
training on governance and policy development and
then joined management students for combined
classes at the end of the session.
Upon successful completion of their
students will proceed to tier two in July. After
completing all three tiers, SACCO managers and
board members will be awarded the Certified SACCO
Professional Designation (CSP). Everyone is
looking forward to seeing this first SWAMI class
graduate in November 2005.
World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development agency 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 more than 290 technical assistance programs in 71 countries. Worldwide, 57,000 credit unions in 103 countries serve 208 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.