What we have found most interesting in our work with FCI is the strong enthusiasm to support the much-needed growth of factoring in Africa, it is a coalition that has proven most effective in various ways, For instance
- Advocacy: Together we have undertaken joint advocacy work in relation to the creation of enabling legal and regulatory environment for factoring to thrive. In Nigeria, FCI and Afreximbank have made presentations before the National Assembly in Nigeria in support of the Factoring Bill that enabled a public hearing in the House of Representatives and under consideration by the Senate; and to the Central Bank of Nigeria to influence policy in favour of open account trade and in licensing requirements. In Botswana and Kenya Afreximbank and FCI have provided support to regulators in capacity building activities. We have also supported Egypt towards a revised Factoring and leasing law that came into effect in 2018 and which has had an impact on the growth of factoring companies in Egypt, from 4 firms some 5 years ago to 13 firms today.
- Awareness and Capacity building: This will arguably be the main flagship support of FCI to Africa – through the process of imparting knowledge and developing skills. We run series of workshops and conference every year, make available E-Learning courses as well as skills upgrade and capacity building through education.
- Membership mobilization: Afreximbank and FCI continue to carry out membership mobilizations missions to support our members (for relationship and retention purposes) as well as attract new members. In the last few years, we have focused on the big banking groups in Africa such as Ecobank, Orabank, Banque Atlantique, Banque of Africa, among others. These have resulted in FCI members growing to about 40 today.
- FCI has made Practical inputs and brought ideas on important projects/initiatives such as ways of facilitating credit insurance support to African factors, the AfDB Fund for Private Sector Assistance (FAPA) which for FCI has been instrumental in the approval, closure of the $500,000 grant,
The greatest advantage of FCI is that it has a huge network of over 400 members with diverse experience in factoring and receivables finance which allows the possibility of accessing a whole array of services from the same organization. Be it access to education, training, mentorship, two-factor system (through Edifactoring), information exchange or business opportunities. FCI is a one stop shop with some of the biggest names in the industry and it provides industry data and market intelligence.
One of our members, Egypt Factors, commenting on the greatest advantage of FCI membership said: “FCI provides continuous opportunity to meet, learn and do business with different industry stakeholders”.
FCI Members from Africa have benefitted tremendously from technical support, capacity building and mentorship arrangements from FCI. For instance, in 2020, Bank Postale du Congo finalized a mentoring arrangement with Unicredit Romania. In 2019 EFG Hermes Factoring Egypt benefited from a mentorship programme from IS Faktoring (Turkey). This is a testament of the value, FCI brings to its African members.
One of the most powerful feedback was provided by Olympia Factors, a factoring company from Botswana that mentioned that: “Being associated with a global name like FCI gives Olympia Factors a brand identity which informs the market that our company is professional, and we are able to deliver as a world class factor”.
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