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SACCOs urged to embrace ICT best practice

Ali Ismail (right), Principal Secretary in The State Department of Cooperatives – Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives shake hands with Laura Chite, CEO – CIO East Africa on the lead-up to Kenya’s SACCOTech Forum slated for 10th April, 2019 in Nairobi/Arthur Kuwashima)

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 10 – The growth trajectory gained by deposit-taking Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs) in 2017 was according to key financial growth parameters appealing.

With total assets increasing to Ksh 442.27 billion in 2017, it reflected a growth rate of 12.4 percent from the previous year.

The total loans shot to Ksh 331.2 billion reflecting a hike of 11.29 percent from 2016; while deposits grew to Ksh 305.3 billion reflecting a growth rate of 12 percent from the previous year.

Unlike in the banking sector, this growth has happened with very little technological interventions, but the sector is now ripe for technology-driven efficiencies and innovation; to digitally transform and deploy technologies to meet changing customer demands and transform the customer experience.

It is against this background that CIO East Africa is hosting the premier SaccoTech Summit.

“East Africa SaccoTech Forum purposes to explore technology use-case sand discuss ways in which the Sacco Societies can effectively identify, adopt and benefit from the implementation of disruptive technologies including Artificial Intelligence and Big Data.” Laura Chite, CEO CIO East Africa, concluded.

Onditi further explained, it is forums such as the SaccoTech that will help Saccos plan their next move with the fourth industrial revolution just around the corner. The forum, themed: Harnessing technology in SACCOS for Socio-Economic Development kicked off with a boom, with over 100 Finance and IT Professionals from across the country attending.

On their part, Onditi says that Pathways is ready to help Saccos make the right steps towards digitization by providing them with the proper solutions.

“We specialize in helping to make sense of your data. We are experts in Multi-System Integration, Analytics, and Business Intelligence. We implement Software Solutions that Enable Automation of Operations as well as Support Analytic Initiatives,” Onditi added.

Saccos which have embraced modern technology in service delivery have the competitive edge in the market however such is not a majority in Kenya or perhaps East Africa as it emerged to the premier SACCOtech summit held at the Serena hotel in Nairobi.

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Harry Hare the Chairman CIO East Africa observed that between SACCOs and Technology there is a disconnect, pointing out to the value proposition that SACCOs would offer going forward to enhance their visibility amidst the tough competition they face in the financial industry.

For the life of SACCOs, they have been associated to the older folks, who like the saccos, have acclimatized the traditional way of doing business and are okay with that.

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