Madison, WI – The second tier of the Strathmore Word Council African Management Institute (SWAMI) concluded this week for 20 management staff and 20 board members who completed Tier 1 last November. SWAMI, a comprehensive training program developed by World Council of Credit Unions, Inc. (WOCCU) and Strathmore University of Nairobi, is designed to prepare senior management staff, aspiring managers and board members to handle the challenges SACCOs face in today's changing environment.
The individuals participating in this week's session completed training in accounting, marketing, PEARLS and policies last November and will receive further training on PEARLS and marketing in Tier 2, along with an introduction to budgeting and business planning, IT software, and asset liability management. Tier 3, which begins in November 2005, will cover topics such as product development and implementation, credit scoring, and human resources, among others. Upon completion of the program, participants will graduate as Certified SACCO Professionals; Kenyan participants will have further advantage over their peers, as a SACCO Regulatory Act based on PEARLS standards is currently being considered by Kenya's legislature.
"This is the only course of its kind in this part of the world that allows SACCOs to measure and understand what performance ratios mean to them. The class appreciates the practical aspects of the course content and its relevance to their day to day operations," said Ezekiel Esipisu, Strathmore Facilitator.
Also this month is the second Tier 1 class, with 36 participants (16 managers and 20 board members), which began June 13th. Many of the attendees of the two June sessions come from Nairobi, but some participants come from as far away as Uganda, South Africa, Seychelles, Ghana and Swaziland.
Catherine Ford, WOCCU technical officer for training and research noted, "It is clear that the SWAMI students are committed to the credit union difference and they want to acquire the best skills in order to operate and manage a safe and sound SACCO (credit union). There is a real camaraderie generated among the students who have traveled from all over Africa in order to attend the training. It is a great reward to be involved with this kind of work for credit unions in Africa."
This program has been made possible by a grant from CUNA Mutual Group Foundation, and the involvement of the Louisiana Credit Union League (LCUL) in the planning and implementation of the program has also been instrumental in its success. Scholarships for the program have been made available through the generosity of the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association, LCUL, the African American Credit Union Coalition, the American Heritage Federal Credit Union, and Southeast Region Credit Union Schools (SRCUS).
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.