Access to finance

Financial inclusion means that individuals and businesses have access to useful and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs – transactions, payments, savings, credit and insurance – delivered in a responsible and sustainable way.

Access to a transaction account is a first step toward broader financial inclusion since it allows people to store money, and send and receive payments. A transaction account can also serve as a gateway to other financial services, which is why ensuring that people worldwide can have access to a transaction account is the focus of the World Bank Group’s Universal Financial Access 2020 initiative.

Financial access facilitates day-to-day living, and helps families and businesses plan for everything from long-term goals to unexpected emergencies. As accountholders, people are more likely to use other financial services, such as credit and insurance, to start and expand businesses, invest in education or health, manage risk, and weather financial shocks, which can improve the overall quality of their lives.
While there has been progress toward financial inclusion, significant challenges remain:

  • An estimated 2 billion adults worldwide don’t have a basic account.
  • Globally, 59% of adults without an account cite a lack of enough money as a key reason, which implies that financial services aren’t yet affordable or designed to fit low income users. Other barriers to account-opening include distance from a financial service provider, lack of necessary documentation papers, lack of trust in financial service providers, and religion.
  • More than 200 million formal and informal micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in emerging economies lack adequate financing to thrive and grow.
  • MSMEs cite a lack of collateral and credit history, and business informality as main reasons for not having an account.
  • Some groups are more financially excluded than others: Women, rural poor, and other remote or hard-to-reach populations, as well as informal micro and small firms are most affected. For example, the gender gap in developing countries is estimated at 9 percentage points: 59% of men reported having an account in 2014, while only 50% of women did.
  • The forcibly displaced populations present one of the most pressing financial inclusion challenges as almost 80% in adults in Fragile and Conflict-Affected States are outside the formal financial system.
Financial inclusion is becoming a priority for policymakers, regulators and development agencies globally:
Since 2010, more than 55 countries have made commitments to financial inclusion, and more than 30 have either launched or are developing a national strategy. Our research indicates that when countries institute a national financial inclusion strategy, they increase the pace and impact of reforms.

Countries that have achieved the most progress toward financial inclusion have put in place an enabling regulatory and policy environment, and have encouraged competition allowing banks and non-banks to innovate and expand access to financial services. However, creating this innovative and competitive space has to be accompanied by appropriate consumer protection measures and regulations to ensure responsible provision of financial services.

Digital financial technology, or “fintech,” and particularly the global spread of mobile phones, has facilitated expanding access to financial services to hard-to-reach populations and small businesses at low cost and risk:

  • Digital IDs make it easier than ever before to open an account
  • Digitization of cash-payments is introducing more people to transaction accounts
  • Mobile-based financial services bring convenient access even to remote areas
  • Greater availability of customer data allows providers to design digital financial products that better fit the needs of unbanked individuals
As countries have accelerated efforts toward financial inclusion, it has become apparent that they face similar hurdles which impede their progress. These include:
  • Ensure financial access and services extend to hard-to-reach populations, including women and the rural poor
  • Increase citizens’ financial literacy and capability so they understand different financial services and products
  • Make sure everyone has valid identification documents, and a low-cost, accessible means for them to be authenticated
  • Devise useful and relevant financial products, tailored to consumer needs
  • Establish robust financial consumer protection frameworks, and adapt relevant regulatory and supervisory authorities, including by utilizing technology to improve supervision (so-called “regtech”)
  • Globally, a lack of identification cards makes it hard to open a bank account, access capital and credit.

Drones can plant 100,000 trees a day


Deforestation remains a huge problem, but drones could help solve that.

It is estimated that the world loses between 74,000 and 95,000 square miles of forest a year – that’s an area the size of 48 football fields lost every minute.

It’s simple maths. We are chopping down about 15 billion trees a year and planting about 9 billion. So there’s a net loss of 6 billion trees a year.

Hand planting trees is slow and expensive. To keep pace with the tractors and bulldozers clearing vast areas of land, we need an industrial-scale solution.

For example, a drone that can plant up to 100,000 trees a day.

BioCarbon Engineering, a UK-based company backed by drone manufacturer Parrot, has come up with a method of planting trees quickly and cheaply. Not only that, trees can also be planted in areas that are difficult to access or otherwise unviable.

Planting by drone

First a drone scans the topography to create a 3D map. Then the most efficient planting pattern for that area is calculated using algorithms.

A drone loaded with germinated seeds fires pods into the ground at a rate of one per second, or about 100,000 a day. Scale this up and 60 drone teams could plant 1 billion trees a year.

The system’s engineers estimate that their method is about 10 times faster and only 20% of the cost of hand planting. And because there is no heavy machinery involved, it’s possible to plant in hard-to-reach areas that have no roads or steep, inaccessible terrain.The BioCarbon team has tested its technology in various locations and recently trialled reseeding historic mining sites in Dungog, Australia.

Bio-Carbon Engineering

Elsewhere, a similar idea is being used by Oregon start-up DroneSeed, which is attempting to create a new era of “precision forestry” with the use of drones to plant trees as well as spray fertilizer and herbicides.

Agriculture is one of the biggest drivers for deforestation, with vast swathes of forest cleared to make way for the cultivation of crops including soy, palm oil and cocoa, as well as for beef farming.

At the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos this year, Norway announced a $400 million fund to kick-start investments in deforestation-free agriculture in countries that are working to reduce their forest and peat degradation.



Project Assessment


A project management assessment identifies areas of strength and expertise, considers potential weaknesses and highlights opportunities for investment within your organization or team. 

This allows you to improve your portfolio, programme and project management.

Projects management assessment services include:

• An objective view of an organization’s current capacity to deliver projects

• A tool to understand the key practices for effective project management processes

• A plan to improve project success rates


It adopts practical four-step approach:

1. Meet with key stakeholders to determine the scope of the assessment and develop an assessment plan

2. Review current standards and processes

3. Meet with key stakeholders and deliver workshops to make agreed improvements

4. Produce final assessment report, including the high-level plan for improvements


• Highly skilled professionals from a range of backgrounds

• Certified programme and project management consultants and

certified management consultants on request

• Global roster of experts providing on-call support

• Experience working in challenging environments

• Local knowledge and global thinking

Women in Agribusiness

Developing gender-smart solutions in agribusiness represents a crucial strategy to address an increasingly volatile global context and to open new opportunities for smallholder value chains. 

Women play fundamental roles in agriculture, comprising over 40 percent of its labor force worldwide.

Women’s labor force participation differs across and within countries and regions, from 20 percent in Latin America to 50 percent in parts of Africa and Asia.

Their involvement and success is critical to the sector’s competitiveness.Yet small-scale women farmers continue to face specific constraints that limit their contributions, including: 

• Limited access to hired labor, equipment, technology, training, finance, and markets; 

• Restrictions on land ownership and tenure that limit expansion opportunities and lead investors to deal primarily with men;

• Sexual harassment and violence; 

• Household, community, and care responsibilities, which are essential to rural well being but have an important effect on women’s time use.

Moreover, women traditionally participate in value chain nodes with lower economic return than men. 

Women’s participation in the production of a specific crop is often times related to the crop’s assumed value, and is thereby usually limited to local consumption and the local market. 

Men are more likely to participate in export commodities, or in markets where there is a greater economic return.

Building adaptive farms and resilient countries


As the spectre of famine currently looms in multiple countries, climate change is exacerbating many of the existing environmental pressures. The ways we produce and consume food will need to adapt to keep pace.

In September 2015, 193 UN member states adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Universal, inclusive, and indivisible, the Agenda calls for action by all countries to improve the lives of people globally. These 17 goals are designed to transform our world.

“The mandate of the new Sustainable Development Goals is clear: creating prosperity means securing a food chain that is environmentally sustainable, socially just and economically inclusive.” Josep Roca, UNDP Goodwill Ambassador


SDG 2: Zero Hunger aims to end all forms of hunger and malnutrition by 2030, making sure all people – especially children – have access to adequate and nutritious food at all times of the year. Presently, extreme hunger and malnutrition remain major barriers to development in many countries. Nevertheless, there has been significant progress over the past two decades.

Zero Hunger involves promoting sustainable agricultural practices through supporting small-scale farmers and allowing equal access to land, technology and markets.

One of the specific targets under SDG 2: Zero Hunger is to double the agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers by 2030, with a particular emphasis on women, indigenous peoples, family farmers, pastoralists, and fishing communities.

This is only achievable if it takes into account climate change impacts, which threaten to further reduce productivity and hurt the poorest populations who cannot cope well with these shocks.

Adaptation approaches must also be gender-responsive. Estimates suggest that by ensuring equal access to resources for female and male farmers, the number of people hungry in the world could shrink by up to 150 million.

“In addition to improving food security and creating opportunity for millions of smallholder farmers, investments in sustainable agriculture can assist countries in adapting to climate change and enhance the resilience of their farmers”  NEW PHOTOSREORDER PHOTOSREMOVE PHOTOSETZero Hunger involves promoting sustainable agriculture and supporting small-scale farmers gain equal access to land, technology & markets.

Zero Hunger involves promoting sustainable agriculture and supporting small-scale farmers gain equal access to land, technology & markets.


Agriculture ministers urged to address African rural youth unemployment

Fostering sustainable agriculture and rural development can ease challenges

Photo: ©FAO/Tamiru Legesse

A FAO-supported horticulture project in Ethiopia is helping create job opportunities for young people.

2 July 2017, Rome – Youth employment should be at the centre of any strategy to face economic and demographic challenges in Africa, the Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization José Graziano da Silva told a joint African Union-European Union meeting, hosted at FAO headquarters in Rome.  

In 2014 alone, about 11 million young Africans entered the labour market.  But many see few opportunities in the agriculture sector and are constrained by a lack of skills, low wages, and limited access to land and financial services. Combined, this makes them more prone to migrate from rural areas. 

“Fostering sustainable agriculture and rural development is essential to absorb these millions of youth looking for a job,” Graziano da Silva said. “A sustainable world can only be achieved with the full engagement of young people. They must feel integrated and believe that a more peaceful and prosperous world is possible.”

The one-day meeting was co-hosted by the African Union Commission, the European Commission and the Estonian Presidency of the EU Council and was attended by Ministers of Agriculture of the African Union and the European Union. 

The aim was to build a common vision on how to generate sustainable, inclusive jobs for African youth in the rural sector. 

Five step solution

The Director-General outlined five steps to engage youth in agriculture and rural development. Firstly, enhance youth participation and leadership in producer organizations and other rural institutions to empower them to engage in policy dialogue. 

Secondly, stimulate private sector investments to create a modern and dynamic agricultural sector and value chains, and to build infrastructure needed for agricultural investments. Thirdly, provide rural areas with better services such as electricity, education and health. 

The fourth step is to strengthen the physical, economic, social and political links between small urban centres and their surrounding rural areas. Finally, invest more in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) which has the potential to improve efficiency in some farm work and facilitate access to markets, information and business opportunities. 

FAO’s work to support youth 

FAO is supporting the implementation of many programmes that target youth in rural areas. Uganda, for example, has adopted FAO’s Junior Farmer Field and Life Schools methodology, funded by Norway, Sweden and Belgium. This simple but efficient program teaches vulnerable children and young people about farming and management skills.

In Nigeria, FAO is supporting the design of the National Youth Employment in Agriculture Programme; and FAO and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) have joined forces to increase jobs and business opportunities for young people in rural areas of Benin, Cameroon, Malawi and Niger through a $4 million grant made available by the Africa Solidarity Trust Fund.

The conference outcomes will be presented at the Africa-EU Summit in November and will guide future work of both the European Commission and the African Union Commission.


Kenya’s agriculture is key to meeting the challenges of feeding a growing population, creating wealth,reducing poverty and managing the degradation of natural resources.

The agricultural sector continues to be a key economic and social driver of development. Overall, the sector directly contributes about 25% of Kenya’s GDP and about 27% indirectly through linkages to agro-based industries and the service sector.

The sector accounts for over 65% of exports, provides about 75% of total employmentand supports over 80% of the rural population. The agricultural sector has four major sub-sectors,namely, crops, livestock, fisheries and forestry.


Kenya’s agriculture is key to meeting the challenges of feeding a growing population, creating wealth,reducing poverty and managing the degradation of natural resources.

The agricultural sector continues to be a key economic and social driver of development. Overall, the sector directly contributes about 25% of Kenya’s GDP and about 27% indirectly through linkages to agro-based industries and the service sector.

The sector accounts for over 65% of exports, provides about 75% of total employmentand supports over 80% of the rural population. The agricultural sector has four major sub-sectors,namely, crops, livestock, fisheries and forestry.





Essential Innovative Synergy Africa (EISA)
P.O Box  55226, 00200 Nairobi-Kenya
Mobile: +254 737 322 755


P.O Box 55226, 00200 Nairobi-KenyaMobile: +254 737 322


Refers to provision of safe and clean water for subsistence among other domestic purposes. It involves removal of harmful substances like waste from water and promotion of healthy and safe behavioral practices amongst the affected populations.
WASH is important because without it, then the achievement of millennium development goals related to health and environmental sustainability will be in jeopardy.
Hazards whether manmade of natural may compromise waste management infrastructure leading to contamination of water sources. This in turn may pose health risks to populations using this water sources or even degrade the environment around them.
To reduce feaco-oral transmission of diseases and exposure to disease bearing vectors.
Provision of safe drinking water;

Reduce environmental health risks;

Promotion of good hygiene practices;
All of the above three points are intended to “Allow people to live with good health, dignity comfort and security.”
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) saves lives in both routine and emergency situations.
Various diseases are spread through water, waste and inadequate hygiene including via vectors.
Medical waste is hazardous and it ought to be treated with the seriousness it deserves.

Providing WASH services helps people return to their normal lives after a disaster.
While both water quantity and quality are important for health, it is water quantity which should be given priority.
Multi-sectoral action reduces vulnerability, maintains water sources and waste systems, and ensure WASH is a priority action in the response to emergencies.

P.O Box 55226, 00200 Nairobi-KenyaMobile: +254 737 322


Contamination of water sources may lead to infections that are transmitted through:
Use of the water for subsistence by cooking with it, washing or directly drinking it without disinfecting it.
Vectors such as mosquitoes and flies which use water bodies as breeding grounds hence contaminating it or once they are mature, they spread the infections themselves.
Hand to mouth transmission. This happens when there is inadequate water to foster the hygiene of an individual.
Increased risk of several diseases which are:

Hepatitis A,
Intestinal Helminths,
Cholera among others
Lack of adequate supplies of clean and safe water restricts the proper functioning and safe practices of health workers and health facilities.
Medical waste is highly infectious. Pathogenic risks as a result of exposure to this kind of waste are but not limited to HIV AIDS, Hepatitis B & C, Haemorrhagic fever, skin infections, Respiratory infections among others.

P.O Box 55226, 00200 Nairobi-KenyaMobile: +254 737 322


Inadequate management of human waste poses a serious health risk due to potential contamination and loss of water sources. Particular attention ought to be paid to children’s excreta since it is more infectious than that of adults yet most communities think its vice versa.
Natural disasters such as Earthquakes and Floods lead to contamination, with far-reaching consequences to health.
The following are ways in which communities and governments can effectively manage risks in WASH:
Preventing defecation especially by children in areas where water sources are in order to avoid contamination.
Preventing the spread of infection through training of the community on the need to foster hygiene and through provision of soap and detergents.
Disinfection of/and treatment of water as per the WHO and/or SPHERE recommendations.
Ensuring that health facilities and health care providers have adequate water supplies to support delivery life saving health care services especially during emergency situations.
Using SPHERE (2011) as a reference on the minimum standards during disaster response for individuals, camps and health facilities.
Ensuring shelters and temporary camps have access to safe water and sanitation.
Consulting and engaging directly with the community in planning WASH services in order to identify socio-cultural acceptable interventions that will be sustainable, longlasting and effective.
Designing, building, modification and maintaining water and sanitation systems with the aim of withstanding the risk of disasters.
Ensure provision of adequate water quantity that is safe for consumption and

accessible sanitation services during disaster helps to manage cases of contamination.
Ensuring a multi-sectoral approach in all aspects of disaster risk management for WASH including disaster response planning.
Carrying out vulnerability assessments of community supplies of water and sanitation systems to assess their ability to provide essential services in the event of a disaster.

P.O Box 55226, 00200 Nairobi-KenyaMobile: +254 737 322


EISA is a firm equipped with experts with skills in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene(WASH). The following is a step-by-step approach in delivering this service:
Step one: Reconnaissance study

Step two: Site assessment and Community needs assessments

Step three: Data Analysis and input from stakeholders and interested parties

Step four: Recommendations and data presentation

Step five: Detailed report

1.Reconnaissance study

2.Site assessment and 5. Report Community needs


4.Recommendations3.Data Analysis andinput fromand data presentationstakeholders andinterested parties
Figure 1: Service delivery flow diagram.

P.O Box 55226, 00200 Nairobi-KenyaMobile: +254 737 322


WHO (2010) ten facts on sanitation.
WHO & UNECEF (2010) Guidance on water and sanitation in extreme events t.pdf
WHO (2005) Essential hygiene messages in post-disaster emergencies
WHO (2011) Four steps for the sound management of health-care waste in emergencies 00.htm

P.O Box 55226, 00200 Nairobi-KenyaMobile: +254 737 322