Madison, WI-World Council of Credit Unions Strathmore-WOCCU Management Institute (SWAMI) recently hosted a record number of students at the November session in Nairobi, Kenya. Seventy- two credit union (SACCO) leaders from eight African countries participated in the three-tier credit union certification program.
"The SWAMI program has made an impact in the operations and management of many SACCOs in Kenya. I graduated in June 2006 and my SACCO has implemented most of what I learned based on the SWAMI curriculum," explained Margaret Ngunjiri, finance and administration manager, Jamii SACCO. She continued, "In particular our SACCO has improved in liquidity management. Policies have been developed to cover all operational areas and this assisted the board and management to realize its potential. The introduction of new products has attracted and retained members in the SACCO."
Kenya's Assistant Minister of Cooperatives, Honorable Dr. David Mwenje acted as the keynote speaker at the graduation. Anne Cochran, president and CEO of Louisiana Credit Union League and Rick Myxter of Pennsylvania Credit Union League—two United States credit union leaders involved in the development of the SWAMI program—also spoke at the graduation ceremony, along with World Council staff members Erick Sile, project director and Catherine Ford, CDP manager.
At the end of the week-long program, 18 tier three SWAMI students graduated and joined the growing ranks of SWAMI alumni, earning Certified SACCO Professional (CSP) designation. Out of this graduating class, 12 of the students were managers and six were board members.
Angelica Kiboro, manager of Strathmore's continuing education department shared that the success of the program is seen by the growing attendance of managers and board members, the effectiveness and the value in credit union training is seen in the numbers.
Prior to the graduation all SWAMI students and Alumni were invited to attend the 2nd Semi- Annual Best Practices Session. During this event alumni were invited to present on the application of the CSP skills, by making individual presentations to the group.
Samual Njguna, a SWAMI alum and Kenya Bankers board member explained, "The training from SWAMI has helped not only in my role as a board member but in my day job as well. "WOCCU is making a difference everyday with SWAMI. And like WOCCU you can make a difference in your SACCO, every day."
"The responses we have received from all of the SWAMI graduates and alumni put the importance of this type of program into perspective, not only for Kenya's credit unions leaders but for others throughout Africa," noted Catherine Ford, CDP manager
Some students in all three tiers of the program have been awarded scholarships and travel awards with the assistance of the following donors: CUNA Mutual Foundation, Louisiana Credit Union League, Pennsylvania Credit Union Foundation, American Heritage Federal Credit Union, ILCU International Development Foundation, African American CU Coalition, Southeast Regional Credit Union School (SRCUS), Jim Lykins, and United Nations Federal Credit Union.
El Consejo Mundial de Cooperativas de Ahorro y Crédito es la asociación gremial y agencia de desarrollo para el sistema internacional de cooperativas de ahorro y crédito. El Consejo Mundial promueve el crecimiento sustentable de las cooperativas de ahorro y crédito y otras cooperativas financieras en todo el mundo a fin de facultar a las personas para que mejoren su calidad de vida a través del acceso a servicios financieros asequibles y de alta calidad. El Consejo Mundial realiza esfuerzos de defensa activa en representación del sistema global de las cooperativas de ahorro y crédito ante organizaciones internacionales y trabaja con gobiernos nacionales para mejorar la legislación y la regulación. Sus programas de asistencia técnica introducen nuevas herramientas y tecnologías para fortalecer el desempeño financiero de las cooperativas de ahorro y crédito y profundizar su alcance comunitario.
El Consejo Mundial ha implementado 290 programas de asistencia técnica en 71 países. A nivel mundial, 57,000 cooperativas de ahorro y crédito en 105 países atienden a 217 millones de personas. Obtenga más información sobre el impacto global del Consejo Mundial en www.woccu.org.