The Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) and its South African counterpart, Land Bank, have forged a partnership following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that allows the two bodies to share experiences and challenges.
CEDA CEO, Thabo Thamane, said the broad based MoU allows cooperation and benchmarking in all areas of operations. He added that it will provide an opportunity for the Agency to leverage on the experience in financing agricultural enterprises in Botswana.
Thamane stated that the Land Bank offers tailor made financial services to established and emerging farmers in South Africa and have 100 years in executing this mandate. According the CEO, the process includes benchmarking on the lending procedures, stakeholder management, products and service offering, and capacity building. He further said that the capacity building component will involve training, secondments and or attachments to either organization.
“The process entails the two organizations exchanging information on their processes and procedures as well as identifying areas that are of common interests and for collaboration,” he explained.
Thamane revealed that the consultations between the two organisations started in October 2011 where agreement was made of the need to collaborate and benchmark. He further stated that the Land Bank has been undergoing transformation following challenges in the recent past and added that the process of transformation is of paramount importance to CEDA as it enters its new strategy period.
He observed that the collaboration will benefit both CEDA and Land Bank clients as the process includes benchmarking on best practice and embedding the learning in the two institutions’ processes.
Thamane further stated that CEDA is a member of the SADC DFI Network, which the SADC DFRC is the secretariat. He said the SADC DFI Network provides an opportunity for members to identify organisations in the network where collaboration may be possible. He mentioned that the Agency will therefore be continually dialoguing with members of the network to identify areas of collaboration and benchmarking.
“CEDA is also a member of the Association of African Development Finance Institutions (AADFI) which offers the same benefits as SADC DFI Network, but more within the continent,” said Thamane.
Meanwhile, the financial year April 2009 to March 2010, CEDA approved 713 projects and approved loans with the total of P502 453 696.94 while financial year April 2010 to March 2011 the amount of loans approved was P316 534 625.42 and also 446 projects were approved. With the financial year April 2011 to February 2011, P317 574 496.07 was approved together with 400 projects.
CEDA and Land Bank of South Africa signed a Memorandum of Understanding on March 16, 2012 at Land Bank Head Office in Centurion South Africa. The signing ceremony was attended by the CEOs of CEDA and Land Bank accompanied by senior management from the two institutions.