The Association for Microfinance Institutions Kenya (AMFI-K) is a member-based organization that was established and registered in 1999 under the Societies Act, to build the capacity of the Kenyan Microfinance Industry. In her 22 years of existence, AMFI-K’s membership has increased from the original 5 founder members to the current 72 fully paid up members in 2022 serving over 10 million clients. The adoption of Alternative banking channels (ABC) like agency banking, Online and mobile banking has made the provision of financial services easier, affordable, and time-saving. This has promoted the accessibility of services, especially for low-income people in rural and marginalized areas. Vision 2030 identified the microfinance subsector as key to ensuring every Kenyan is bankable by 2030.
This has seen the government intensify the financial inclusion campaign by creating funds for the microfinance sector in the National budget, establishing funds for women and youth, and also developing legislation to promote micro and small enterprises (MSEs). The future of AMFI-K lies in its ability to meet and satisfy members` needs which in the end ensures members’ full participation in and funding of their activities. To achieve this, AMFI-K members are categorized as; Ordinary members (Microfinance Banks, Credit-Only Microfinance Institutions, and Wholesale funders to microfinance Institutions); Associate Members Commercial Banks, Savings and Credit Co-Operatives (SACCOs), Developmental institutions); Honorary Members (key persons who have contributed to the MFI industry) and Consultants (Microfinance experts).
The governance structure of AMFI-K comprises; the General Assembly, the Board of Directors (9), and the Secretariat (5). The Board provides strategic direction while the secretariat
implements the strategies identified by the Board. The voting rights and Board representation of the different categories of members are well stipulated in the AMFI-K constitution, which binds all members. AMFI-K operations are guided by a strategic plan which is reviewed after every 5 years. This plan provides the roadmap towards both financial and operational self-sustainability through constant review of membership fees and outreach strategies to reach more members offering microfinance services. The current strategic plan documents 4 key result
areas which were identified by members;
• Policy Advocacy: This area of activity aims to enhance collective action by its members and other stakeholders for an enabling policy and regulatory environment for the microfinance industry in Kenya. To deliver this mandate, the strategy assumes that AMFI’s institutional capacity for advocacy and lobbying will be enhanced to ably support the development of an enabling environment for MFIs to operate and increase their growth and outreach to continue expanding the financial inclusion to all Kenyans.
• Capacity Building: This aims at strengthening the capacity of MFIs to deliver appropriate and sustainable microfinance services to low-income people, through sensitization to members on issues affecting their operations, and coordination of workshops and training courses that address the capacity gaps that exist in the market. To achieve this, AMFI conducts an assessment of members’ capacity building needs and organizes demand-driven training, orkshops, and seminars on thematic areas, and develops content specifically tailored to respond to members’ needs.
• Networking and Linkages: AMFI provides regular platforms for members to enhance effective collaboration with the local financial services providers, relevant stakeholders to the industry, and all other regional and international networks that are relevant to the members. To achieve this, AMFI participates in microfinance forums that provide a platform for peer-to-peer learning and to improve information sharing and dissemination.
• Research and Knowledge Management: The key objective of this activity area is to provide members with timely and quality research and information that helps the industry, regulators, academicians, and all other interested parties understand the microfinance`s performance at a given period. A Resource Center is established at AMFI to ensure that information on the microfinance industry is systematically generated, stored, analyzed, and disseminated to help make informed decisions. This is achieved through industry data collection through a well-defined questionnaire, analyzed, and published through the AMFI sector report.