We are working with the Centre for Financial Regulation & Inclusion (Cenfri) to provide technical assistance to the iBuild project. Cenfri has signed and MoU with FSD Kenya to undertake consumer research to illustrate a business case to offer financial products to MFIs, SACCOs, banks and actors in the housing/construction space.
Due to the historic informality of the building industry in Kenya, financial institutions have not been able to meet the financial needs of the actors involved. This undermines the potential of the industry to contribute to employment and growth. However, the emergence of African digital platforms is providing new opportunities to effectively serve these target groups.
iBuild is a mobile platform that hopes to close the gap in affordable housing production by ‘Empowering the World to Build’. It will connect people in need of shelter with construction-related people looking for work and will facilitate open access to housing support services that will guide individuals through the housing construction and reconstruction processes.
Cenfri has decided to focus on three distinct iBuild users: 1) construction workers, 2) contractors and 3) building supliers; on the constraints and risks that they face as SMEs and how finance can add value to these small businesses.
FSD Kenya, in addition to a commitment of £5,000 to the qualitative work to expand the scope of the research to include credit and savings, are interested in funding an add-on project to determine the impact of such finance on 1) platform usage, 2) the welfare of its users. They will organise the logistics workshop where they shall present the findings from the consumer research.
Cenfri has also signed and MoU with AFR and Yego Moto. Yeyo Moto is an e-hailing motorcycle taxi service that was launched in Rwanda in January 2018. It aims to make Rwanda’s motorcycle taxis more efficient while bringing transparency and fairness to the fares, for both, the driver and passenger. It equips the taxis with a meter, which calculates the fare (based on distance traveled and time taken) and helps drivers navigate in real-time.
We work with Cenfri though an initiative called risk, remittances and integrity (RRI) to catalyse insurance market development by building a strong evidence base to inform and influence more effective policy frameworks. This collaborative project with AFR and Yego Moto will be staggered in phrases where RRI is responsible for conducting consumer research on the drivers to understand the risks and constraints they face. It will further expand knowledge on their demand for specific insurance, credit and savings offerings and willingness to take these up through Yego.
AFR will organise a workshop later in the year, through which they will disseminate the findings to Yego, insurers, and credit and savings providers. The ultimate objective will be to illustrate a business case to financial service providers to provide products to e-hailing drivers, and the benefits of partnerships through the platform. Cenfri and AFR will offer advise on some of the considerations on the partnership between Yego Moto, Inclusivity Soulutions (their technical service provider) and the insurer they will partner with. AFR will play a larger role in product development – ensuring that the consumer insights are incorporated into the product design.