African Rural and Agricultural Credit Association

We are a regional association of financial and non financial institutions involved in promoting rural and agricultural finance in Africa.

To improve the rural finance environment through the promotion of appropriate policy framework and to support member to provide sustainable quality financial services mainly to the bottom of the pyramid communities.

A rural Africa where people have access to sustainable financial services for economic development.

United as one people underpinned by mutual respect to develop an inclusive financial sector in Africa guided by the following core values

  • Honesty and integrity
  • Professionalism
  • Dedication
  • Synergy

Meet the New AFRACA Secretary General

Mr. Thomas Thompson Essel is the new Secretary General of the African Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (AFRACA), headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. He has many years of experience in Economic and Development issues. Prior to joining AFRACA, he worked in Bank of Ghana for over twenty-two years, holding different positions. The latest positions being head of External Financial Relations and Head of the Bank of Ghana-initiated “Ghana Incentive-Based Risk-Sharing System for Agricultural Lending” (GIRSAL), providing strategic and technical guidance to management.

Mr. Essel has considerable experience in policy, having worked both in Bank of Ghana and also in the Policy Coordination, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit of the Office of the President of the Republic of Ghana for two years. He also has extensive experience in research, international relations and rural finance. Mr. Essel holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences and a Masters’ Degree in Development Studies from the University of Cape Coast in Ghana. He has undertaken several courses and programmes in Economics and agricultural related areas.


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Next step for AFRACA

I have assumed this position in AFRACA at a time when the need to support rural financing for Agriculture is even greater as governments and global efforts are being redirected towards expanding financial inclusion to empower agricultural Value chain Actors.

AFRACA shares a similar goal with a vision to see a Rural Africa where everyone has access to sustainable financial services to support the development of their farming-related activities to raise their standard of living.

Created in 1977 at a time when access to credit by the rural poor was very limited, AFRACA’s mandate was to improve the rural finance environment through the promotion of appropriate policy framework and to support its network of financial institutions and partnres to provide sustainable quality financial services mainly to smallholder farmers.

Our immediate task is to place AFRACA’s objective in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) under the 2030 Global Development Agenda and Africa’s Agenda 2063, both of which have support for Agriculture as one of the key flagship programmes not only to reduce poverty, hunger and malnutrition but also to empower the poor to make meaningful contribution to economic development.

We have already started collaborating closely with critical stakeholders on issues of Rural Finance on the continent and are going to increase the level of coordination between our Secretariat, our extensive network of financial institutions, development Partners and Governments to achieve our common goals.

New and emerging approaches of financing agriculture to minimize risks, such as Risk-Sharing approaches, Climate-Smart Agriculture and digital lending are part of our focus and will be linked to Agricultural Value-Chain Financing. In line with this, we will build a strong collaboration with financial institutions and support them with capacity building programmes that will empower them to lend with minimal risk. We will also with the help of our partners support countries to adopt agricultural financing schemes that address challenges that farmers face in accessing credit.

Furthermore, we aim to use our strong collaboration with our partners to leverage low cost financing for member financial institutions involved in innovative approaches to lending in order to increase lending to rural agricultural value chains, especially the smallholder farmer, women and the youth.

With support of our present and potential partners, we are going to urge financial institutions to move beyond just lending and create a client-farmer base with occasional support that improves their financial and market knowledge.

Let’s all put our hands on the deck to support agriculture by not only improving financial inclusion of the marginalised but also increasing financial resources to enhance long term sustainability.

Thomas T. Essel, AFRACA Secretary General


Register Now! 6th Edition of the Training Workshop on Agricultural Loan Analysis, 2 to 5 December 2019, Mombasa, Kenya.

We acknowledge and highly appreciate your continued support and participation in AFRACA key activities and programmes. In collaboration with the FAO, AFRACA is conducting a training workshop on Agricultural Loan Analysis based on the newly developed Loan Analyzer application. We are now inviting nominations for the Six Edition of the Training which will be held from the 2 to 5 December in Mombasa, Kenya.

The training will feature the Agricultural Loan Analyzer application. The Ag. Loan Analyzer is a freeware loan appraisal application tool developed by the FAO targeting credit officers, credit analysts, risk managers and other credit decision makers involved in Agricultural lending. The tool enables officers to overcome the time-consuming perennial challenges involved in loan analysis hence improving the turnaround time in making loan decisions. Also, of great benefit is the ability of the tool to be easily customized to suit institutional needs and credit operations. We are glad to announce that, since the start of the training programme, several AFRACA member institutions have adapted the tool in their credit processes helping them to streamline and enhance their credit decision making.

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