SWAMI Alumni Share Best Practices with Program Participants
(L-R) Rick Myxter, representing Kenya's International Partner, the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association, graduating SWAMI class officer Kusi Boachie, tier 2 student Isaac Sam-Cudjoe, WOCCU's Erick Sile and SWAMI founder Anne Cochran.
NAIROBI, Kenya—The Strathmore-WOCCU
Management Institute (SWAMI) held its first "best
practices" session with SWAMI alumni on June 23
in Nairobi, Kenya. More than 70 Savings and
Credit Cooperatives (SACCO) managers and board
members from Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Ghana,
Malawi, Botswana, South Africa and Swaziland
gathered to hear from SWAMI alumni and honored
guests on a variety of topics and success stories
relevant to best practices.
SWAMI was developed by WOCCU and Strathmore
University of Nairobi to prepare senior SACCO
management staff, aspiring managers and board
members to handle the challenges SACCOs face in
today's changing environment. It is a three-tier
program that intertwines training and practical
application. In November 2005, 38 students of the
first SWAMI graduating class received the
Certified SACCO Professional pin.
Tier 1 PEARLS training for SACCO managers.
The recent best practices session in Nairobi
designed to promote continued alumni involvement
with the program. As such, alumni presented on
topics that had directly benefited their SACCOs
due to the education they gained in SWAMI. Also
contributing to the session were Professor David
Sperling of Strathmore University, Zachary Ratemo
of USAID Kenya, Catherine Ford, WOCCU's
Cooperative Development Program Director and
SWAMI scholarship program manager, Erick Sile,
WOCCU's Technical Officer for Africa, and Anne
Cochran, president of the Louisiana Credit Union
League and original founder of SWAMI.
During the session, Samuel Lemeiruko, board
member of Kenya Bankers SACCO, presented on the
relevance of effective policy development and
implementation, which he has put into practice
since learning at SWAMI.
Elias Langi, board member of Gertrude's
Children's Hospital SACCO, spoke on the topic of
effective IT management and addressed how his
participation in SWAMI helped him to better
assess and manage the various IT needs of his
Rukuriri Tea SACCO Manager Moses Nyaga
on best practices by testifying to the strength
of the SWAMI program and how it has helped him
become a better manager.
Lemeiruko, Langi and Nyaga were graduates of
first SWAMI class in November 2005.
Kusi Boachie, June 2006 SWAMI graduate and
president, concluded the session by stressing the
importance of networking and encouraging a
strong, continent-wide SACCO movement by
supporting similar alumni activities.
Angelica Kiboro, Strathmore's Director of
Continuing Education, was very pleased with the
continued popularity of the SWAMI program. "We
are growing every session, with managers and
board members from several countries throughout
Africa," she said. "We are very encouraged by the
growing success of the program and the increasing
role our alumni groups will have in promoting
safe and sound SACCOs throughout Africa."
WOCCU has received program funding to support
SWAMI Program from the CUNA Mutual Group
Foundation and the US Agency for International
Development Cooperative Development Program.
Scholarships and travel awards to assist
students' participation from credit union
movements around Africa come from many support
organizations and individuals:
- African American Credit Union Coalition
- American Heritage Federal Credit Union (2004,
- BF Goodrich Federal Credit Union (2006)
- Canadian Cooperative Association (2005)
- Florida Central Credit Union (2006)
- Irish League of Credit Unions' Foundation
- Louisiana Credit Union League (LCUL) (2004,
- Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA)
- Southeast Regional Credit Union Schools
(2004, 2005, 2006)
- Washington Credit Union Foundation (2006)
- Jim Lyman (2006)
- Rick Myxter (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 105 countries serve 217 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.