Africa Wide



The Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion - Africa Board Fellowship Program Movemeback African initiative cover image


The African Board Fellowship connects board members and CEOs through peer learning and exchange to strengthen the governance of financial institutions serving low-income clients.

The Africa Board Fellowship (ABF) program is dedicated to strengthening governance, improving risk-management practices, and building strategic leadership abilities for board members and CEOs of financial institutions serving low-income clients in sub-Saharan Africa.

The six-month program offers in-person, peer-led seminars featuring real life case studies, role plays, interactive animation and networking, together with a virtual platform for structured learning, dialogue and collaboration. During the program, fellows establish individual and institutional goals and work with an advisor on achieving those goals.  The in-person seminars are two-and-a-half days long and they bookend the fellowship with an opening kick-off seminar and a closing seminar at the end. 

Through peer learning and exchange, ABF is designed to create an open atmosphere that allows for frank discussion among peers. World-class experts and leaders in microfinance and financial inclusion facilitate and engage participants in an active dialogue on governance and risk. Seminars are an interactive combination of guided discussion and peer-to-peer exchange on governance, best practices and risk-management strategies, with an emphasis on fellows sharing knowledge and experience. At the conclusion of the program, fellows stay connected as alumni, creating a network of leaders confronting similar challenges.

NB. The program is free but the participants need to cover the travel costs of getting to and from the two in-person seminars. Once fellows arrive at the seminars, costs associated with hotel accommodation and food will be covered for the duration of the seminars. 


ABF is for board members and CEOs of financial institutions working toward financial inclusion throughout sub-Saharan Africa. The program requires an institutional commitment and suggests that the board chair, CEO and at least one other board member attend the fellowship program. Ideally, at least the board chair and CEO would attend together as part of the same class and then additional participants from the institution can join future classes.


By the end of the ABF, participants will possess the technical knowledge and tools to be agents of change for effective governance at their institutions, and for the industry as a whole. This includes:

  1. Understanding and implementing best practice governance structures and functions.
  2. Monitoring and assessing institutional risks faced and ensuring that the risk management system (RMS) provides them with adequate information so the board can ensure the continued survival and viability of the company implementing sound risk management strategies.
  3. Ensuring that the company has the necessary human and technical resources to navigate competitive and challenging environments successfully.
  4. Fostering good board dynamics and function, and the appropriate relationship between management and the board so that management and the board effectively and consistently focus on their core responsibilities.

About The Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion

The Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion (CFI) is an action-oriented think tank that engages and challenges the financial services industry to better serve, protect and empower clients. They develop insights, advocate on behalf of clients and collaborate with stakeholders to achieve a comprehensive vision for financial inclusion. CFI are on a mission to enable 3 billion people who are left out of – or poorly served by – the financial sector to improve their lives. The organisation's vision is to ensure everyone who can use financial services has access to a range of quality financial services at affordable prices delivered by a range of providers in a competitive market with convenience, dignity and consumer protections to financially capable clients.