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Aceli Year 1 Learning Report: Unlocking Private Capital for African Agriculture

Continuing disruptions from COVID-19 and a worsening climate crisis have amplified the longstanding need for investment in African agricultural value chains that are inclusive, resilient, and environmentally sustainable. Aceli Africa (“Aceli”) is a market catalyst leveraging public and philanthropic resources to unlock agricultural lending that generates social and environmental impact. Launched in September 2020 with an initial focus in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda, Aceli Africa partnered with 24 lenders in our first year. While the idea for Aceli originated at a global level among international impact lenders that are members of the Council on Smallholder Agricultural Finance, it has rapidly evolved to include commercial banks and non-bank lenders domiciled in East Africa, which now make up the majority (15, or 63%) of participating lenders. Aceli’s core product offerings are two types of financial incentives to mitigate the risk and improve the returns of agri-SME lending.