Aceli Africa is a market-led platform to catalyse finance for credit-constrained East African businesses along selected agricultural value chains that offer the best potential for income and job creation, food security and nutrition, gender inclusiveness, and promotion of climate-smart and agro-ecological smallholder agriculture. Key Swiss added values are the up-scaling of social impact financial instruments pioneered by SDC with partners, the involvement of the largest Swiss private impact investor, and the focus on two SDC priority countries.
Agriculture & food security
Employment & economic development
Agricultural financial services
- Other international or foreign NGO North
|Background||Smallholder farmers - the majority of the poor/ vulnerable African population - can be best reached effectively and efficiently by agricultural businesses which transact with them on the input, processing, and/or output side. If they grow sustainably, they create income and employment for women and youth, but most businesses are financially excluded. The Aceli platform aims to mobilize impact investments for this vulnerable sector and present a unique opportunity for SDC to engage in this public-private development partnership, following an innovative approach, mixing different instruments, replicating pilots of Latin America for the first time in Africa and offering a medium-term replication beyond the agriculture sector and beyond Africa.|
|Objectives||To improve the livelihood of around 1’115’000 smallholder farmers and rural poor people, particularly women and youth, - and their roughly 5,6 million household members - in small-holder agriculture and across their agricultural and food value chains in East Africa while promoting climate-smart and agro-ecological agricultural practices by end of 2025.|
Direct beneficiaries: around 750 East African agricultural businesses, including farmers organisations.
End beneficiaries: around 1’115’000 smallholder farmers and rural poor (around 5,6 million rural vulnerable low-income household members) in Tanzania, Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda will earn USD 200 million incremental income by 2025.
A particular focus lies on businesses procuring from women suppliers, women led businesses, businesses with women in senior management, business that provide employment opportunities for women or provide goods or services targeting women.
The two main outcomes of Aceli are:
1) Responsible and inclusive growth and increased revenue of around 750 agricultural businesses that generates value for around 1’115’000 smallholder farmers and rural poor people in terms of higher smallholder farm productivity, growing and inclusive employment, improving food security and nutrition, enhanced gender equality (leadership, employment opportunities, entrepreneurship), and higher levels of climate-smart and agro-ecological agriculture triggered by their access to around USD 700 million capital by 2025.
2) Strengthen the enabling environment for agricultural business finance at country level in terms of lower subsidies (i.e. financial incentives) required for ‘social’ lenders to maintain their lending levels and at least two national governments committing funding for Aceli-like support for agricultural finance by 2025.
1) Increased number of agricultural business- ses that qualify for Aceli facilitated loans.
2) Increased lending to agricultural business-ses through risk-sharing with the ‘social’ lenders (receiving financial incentives from Aceli).
3) Support innovative business models to drive operational efficiency and financial sustainability for lending in high-impact but difficult-to-serve financial markets.
4) Use data to optimise targeted financial incentives and build the evidence base for policy & budget reform to support agricultural finance at country level.
Results from previous phases: SDC has been pioneering with Roots of Impact, Root Capital, Inter-American Development Bank Lab social impact incentives since 2016 in Latin America serving as a pilot for Aceli. SDC offered USD 1,8 million grants to Root Capital, incl. 1 million for SIINC payments with resulted so far in (1) 39 loans of USD 11,4 million to 32 businesses, (2) USD 46,7 million in gross revenue, (3) USD 40,5million payments to 8’866 farmers, as well as (4) additional USD 6,1 million payments to the farmers.
|Directorate/federal office responsible||
International or foreign NGO
|Coordination with other projects and actors||
X Synergies with SDC’s programmes on Youth Inclusive Rural Finance and Support to Innovation for Social Change in Tanzania and on youth employment and private sector promotion in Rwanda.
X Synergies with the GPFS smallholder safety net promotion initiative SSNUP and the ABC Fund (GPFS agricultural investment initiative RAIL).
X Synergies with SECO in collaborating with Swiss and other global agricultural impact investors.
|Budget||Current phase Swiss budget CHF 9’490’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF 1’850’000|