Thirty-Eight Students Participate in First Strathmore-WOCCU African Management Institute Graduation
SWAMI students with scholarships and travel awards, coming to the program from Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa and Uganda.
Nairobi, Kenya – The African credit union
has been strengthened with the first class of
Certified SACCO Professionals (CSPs) and board
members. On November 5th, 38 students graduated
from the Strathmore-WOCCU African Management
Institute (SWAMI). The first to graduate from
this training program for savings and cooperative
(SACCO) managers and board members, the 38
graduates hail from four African countries: Kenya,
Seychelles, Uganda, and South Africa.
The program is split into two groups of student
tracks: the more intensive SACCO Certified Manager
Programme for management students and the SACCO
Board Leadership Program for board members. Each
track has three tiers, held in separate sessions
and focusing on different topics and skills. For
the first time since the inception of the
institute in 2004, the tiers are now running
concurrently, allowing students in tiers one and
two to witness the graduation of students from
The Honorable Peter Kenneth, assistant
the Kenyan Ministry of Co-operative Development
and Marketing, was the keynote speaker at the
event. In addition to congratulating the
graduates on their hard work and dedication, he
emphasized that the Ministry of Cooperatives is
committed to supporting the SWAMI program.
Following his address, Mr. Kenneth presented
managers with certificates of designation as
Certified SACCO Professional (CSP) and board
members with certificates of participation.
Catherine Ford, WOCCU's CDP Manager and
administrator of the SWAMI scholarship program,
presented all graduates with a program pin.
Hellen Wanyonyi, board member of Africa Nazarene SACCO, is awarded the SWAMI certificate of completion from the assistant minister of the Kenyan Ministry of Co-operative Development and Marketing, the Honorable Peter Kenneth.
"Education is key to building a stronger credit
union system," says Pete Crear, chief executive
officer, WOCCU. "Part of WOCCU's mission is to be
the platform for innovation and knowledge
exchange. The Strathmore-WOCCU African Management
Institute is an excellent example of what our work
in this area can do to help credit unions around
SWAMI was developed by WOCCU and Strathmore
University of Nairobi to prepare senior SACCO
aspiring managers and board members to handle the
challenges SACCOs face in today's changing
environment. The involvement of the Louisiana
Credit Union League in the planning,
implementation and supervision of the program has
been critical to its success.
Key program funding comes from the United
Agency for International Development's Cooperative
Development Program, CUNA Mutual Group Foundation,
and the Canadian Co-operative Association. These
grants, in addition to scholarships from the
American Credit Union Coalition, Pennsylvania
Credit Union Association, American Heritage
Federal Credit Union, Southeast Regional Credit
Union Schools, and the Louisiana Credit Union
League, have enabled WOCCU and Strathmore to
strengthen the human resources of the SACCO
movement in order to build-up safe and sound
William Bonilla, WOCCU's project manager for
IRnet/Kenya, spoke at the reception on
WOCCU's chief operating officer, Brian Branch.
"As many of you know, this event is a landmark for
both WOCCU and Strathmore," said Bonilla.
"Through the Strathmore-WOCCU African Management
Institute, we have achieved an incredible
partnership linking SACCO managers and board
members with the expertise of SACCO skills and
training with a network that spans across the
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, 56,000 credit unions in 101 countries serve 200 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.