AKAM helps farmers in West Africa grow their farm ventures. Approach
Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) considers improving access to financial services for marginalized groups a high priority. AKF works with its sister agency, the Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance (AKAM), to facilitate financial services for farmers, pastoralists and small and medium entrepreneurs, and promotes this access through new community structures. AKF’s work in access to finance is often integrated with other sector programs in health, education, civil society and rural development.
> Learn more about AKF’s approach to access to finance
Aga Khan Foundation USA (AKF USA) engages private foundations and U.S. government agencies in partnership with microfinance institutions. For example, with a grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), AKF USA works with AKAM and its affiliate, the First MicroFinance Bank Afghanistan, to provide housing loans to poor families to rehabilitate and expand their homes. With another USAID grant, AKF USA works to create employment opportunities for Egyptian youth by promoting youth entrepreneurship through improved access to finance and vocational and business training.
For many communities that are too poor or remote to access formal banking options, AKF facilitates the formation of community-based savings groups (CBSGs) and provides them with the skills to establish and sustain their groups over the long term. CBSGs are often linked with AKF’s other sector programs. For example, an integral part of AKF USA’s work to improve maternal and child healthcare in Pakistan involves forming CBSGs that provide forums for health information and help rural women save money for expenses including healthcare. These groups mitigate the financial shocks of unexpected household costs.
AKF USA currently supports access to finance programs in Afghanistan, Egypt, India, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Tanzania.
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