ACDI/VOCA hosted the third annual Affiliated Financial Institution (AFI) Network Senior Manager Summit in Amsterdam in mid-August 2015. The AFI Network was created to promote common development interests among AFIs and ACDI/VOCA, exchange technical knowledge, and facilitate mutual assistance.

The summit brought together six of eight member AFIs—KredAqro, Azerbaijan; Arvand, Tajikistan; Frontiers, Bai Tushum Bank, and BT Innovations, Kyrgyzstan; and KazMicroFinance, Kazakhstan—with ACDI/VOCA staff that serve on the AFIs’ boards or participate in the provision of financial services.

Risk Management Relevant to Central Asian AFIs in Light of Recent Devaluations

On the first day of the summit, the six participating AFIs engaged in spirited discussion with experts from Triodos Bank on risk-based approaches to internal audit and risk management. These were timely topics given the recent devaluations and economic uncertainties in the Central Asian economies. The day’s PowerPoint, “Debunking Risk-Based Internal Audit and Non-Financial Risk,” is available below.

Participants also learned about Values Banking, a global ethical banking movement centered on a triple-bottom line strategy that is transparent and client-focused. As mission-based micro and SME lending institutions founded by ACDI/VOCA, this topic appealed to attendees. More information on this topic is available on the Global Alliance for Banking Values’ website.

ACDI/VOCA Experts Lead Workshop on Agricultural Value Chain Finance

On day two of the summit, ACDI/VOCA financial experts—Technical Managing Director, Financial Services Doug Leavens, Senior Technical Director, Financial Services Nadia Namken, and Associate Director, Technical Learning and Application Dun Grover—led an interactive workshop on Agricultural Value Chain Finance. They explored tools and challenges in finding market window opportunities, identifying the most appropriate partners, and mitigating value chain financing risks. PowerPoint presentations of the modules are available at the bottom of this post.

Strategy to Launch Impact Investment Fund Debuted

Presenting ACDI/VOCA’s vision for building a strategic investment portfolio, Senior Technical Director, Partnerships and Investments Wyanie Bright rolled out a joint strategy for launching a new impact investment fund, starting with opportunities in Central Asia. Executive Vice President, Technical Learning and Application Bob Fries discussed next steps for the AFI network as an important and integral business component of ACDI/VOCA’s expanding private sector approach to sustainable development. Elena Nelson, AFI Network coordinator, wrapped up the proceedings with a discussion of the network’s annual plan and budget for 2016.

Read more about the AFI Network here.