What is FSD Africa?

Created in 2012, FSD Africa is a £30 million financial sector development programme or ‘FSD’ based in Nairobi. It is funded by UK aid from the UK Government. FSD Africa aims to reduce poverty across sub-Saharan Africa by building financial markets that are efficient, robust and inclusive.

FSD Africa is a market facilitator or catalyst. It applies a combination of resources, expertise and research to address financial market failures and deliver a lasting impact. FSD Africa has a mandate to work across sub-Saharan Africa on issues that relate to both ‘financial inclusion’ and ‘finance for growth.’

FSD Africa is also a regional platform. It fosters collaboration, best practice transfer, economies of scale and coherence between development agencies, donors, financial institutions, practitioners and government entities with a role in financial market development in sub-Saharan Africa. In particular, FSD Africa provides strategic and operational support to the FSD Network.

What is FSD Africa’s theory of change?

FSD Africa has three main areas of work:

  • Finance for all: Interventions designed to increase access to finance to empower and reduce the vulnerability of the poor.
  • Finance for growth: Interventions designed to provide capital to investment-ready sectors to drive inclusive economic growth and reduce poverty through increased prosperity.
  • Regional platform: Interventions designed to foster collaboration, best practice sharing and harmonisation between the FSD Network and other partners to improve effectiveness and achieve value for money.

What is FSD Africa’s strategy?

To provide focus and to deliver on these areas, FSD Africa’s Strategic Plan (2013-2018) structures work into four pillars.

  • Pillar 1: Skills development and training. Interventions to increase skills, capacity and performance of financial institutions, financial sector professionals and the local services markets that support them across Africa.
  • Pillar 2: Growth and Investment. Interventions designed to build financial markets that more efficiently mobilise and allocate capital to businesses and projects that drive inclusive economic growth.
  • Pillar 3: Inclusive programmes. Targeted, market-building interventions in five priority areas (including agriculture finance, digital payments, savings groups, housing finance and credit markets) and launched and scaled regionally.
  • Pillar 4: Regional platform. Products and services to build and transfer skills and knowledge across countries and between financial sector development partners, especially the FSD Network.

A summary of FSD Africa’s Strategic Plan (2013-2018) can be downloaded here.

What are FSD Africa’s objectives?

FSD Africa will reduce poverty by building financial markets in sub-Saharan Africa. By 2019, FSD Africa will:

  • Work with 20+ financial institutions to build their capacity
  • Work with partner financial institutions to provide 2.3 million savings accounts and 700,000 credit accounts to women, rural dwellers and the poor
  • Increase the operational efficiency of partner financial institutions
  • Increase the sustainability of key financial sector service industries (e.g. skills development, data analytics)
  • Work with three Centres of Excellence in the area of financial sector skills development
  • Worked in five non-FSD Network countries, two post-conflict countries and one Francophone country
  • Train 5,000 financial sector professionals through local and international partners
  • Host six expert reference groups on specific financial inclusion topics (e.g. impact evaluation, information)
  • Provide technical assistance to six FSDs and an integrated approach impact evaluation across the FSD Network