A technical review of select de-risking schemes to promote rural and agricultural finance in sub-Saharan Africa

In recognition of the well-understood challenges with promoting rural and agricultural finance, the need for a more systemic approach to promoting financial inclusion is gaining traction in the thinking and programming approaches of the community of practice. Within this system-level view, the concept of de-risking the overall operating environment of agricultural value chains is recognized as a critically important factor. Accordingly, numerous project-based and stand-alone “de-risking” arrangements have recently been launched or are at various stages of design throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

Growing interest and consensus about the importance of these facilities has already been established and what is now required is a more detailed understanding of design features; a rigorous technical review and stocktaking of the most conducive institutional and operational arrangements; and a delineation of the existing information gaps. The generation of evidence of performance, impact and cost effectiveness is critical to validating the relevance of these types of schemes, as well as to informing design improvement and implementation, for the sake of scalability and replicability. This study takes preliminary stock of these experiences in an effort to contribute to building up the evidence base to help inform the future strategy and design of similar programmatic interventions.

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