February 2020
From the editor

Dear RFILC members,

To begin our February edition, we would like to present a recent study issued by the Improving Capacity Building in Rural Finance (CABFIN) Partnership and the Dutch Platform for Inclusive Finance (NpM): “Financial Services for Woman: Women’s Participation in the Maize and Bean Value Chains in Rwanda”. This study analyzes the main challenges that Rwandese women face when seeking to access quality financial services in selected value chains, while illustrating the potential role that formal financial service providers could play in strengthening inclusion for these actors. Although financial inclusion rates in Rwanda are overall elevated, formal lending for agriculture is still lagging behind. Formal FSPs have no specific set of strategies that would address women-specific constraints to financial products, beyond a few examples, such as the MFI Duterimbere, which specifically addresses women’s demands and needs during product design.

Secondly, we would like to draw your attention to another study titled “Inclusive Finance and Rural Youth”, recently published by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Financial inclusion has gained attention as a key contributing factor to unlock the potential of rural youth in driving sustainable and inclusive rural transformation. This paper investigates how recent developments in this sector offer new opportunities for rural youth, and highlights persistent barriers that prevent rural youth from accessing financial and non-financial services, making the case for a market system approach to financial inclusion with specific attention given to digital finance. It examines the application of the market system approach to address those barriers and defines roles and investment opportunities for practitioners and development actors.

Finally, we are delighted to invite you to the first French-speaking edition of The Boulder Institute of Microfinance’s Rural and Agricultural Finance Program (RAFP), which will take place in Marseille, France from May 04th to May 15th, 2020. This program, developed in collaboration with FAO and CABFIN, provides a unique space to explore, reflect and share ideas and strategies in the rural and agricultural finance sector. This specialized program is offered to rural and agricultural finance practitioners coming from a variety of institutions. The two-week immersion program will offer a total of 70 academic course hours delivered by a renowned faculty of rural and agricultural finance experts. It will cover a broad range of topics and viewpoints related to how to efficiently achieve financial inclusion for smallholder farmers and other rural actors. The program features a range of networking meetings, round table discussions, panels and presentations organized by faculty and fellow participants. To register, please, click here.

With best regards,
The RFILC Editorial Team

We hope you enjoy your visit to the RFILC.


The Rural Finance and Investment Learning Centre is a part of the CABFIN Partnership Project which aims to promote and facilitate capacity building in rural finance. The concerns of rural finance are to ensure that people living in rural areas have access to financial services such as deposit and money transfer facilities, insurance and loan products. Effective use of these services can help to improve livelihoods and reduce rural poverty. The following CABFIN Partners have provided financial support to the RFILC: