This blog was provided by EcoBank Group. This program recieved a plaque of commendation in the Core Business Competencies category of the 2015 GHC-GBCHealth Business Action on Health Awards. 

Since 2012, Ecobank has partnered with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, to deliver a programme that alleviates grant bottlenecks by strengthening the financial management capacity of grant recipients.

The Global Fund mobilises USD 4 billion a year to support programmes in 140 countries worldwide, 65% of which is dedicated to sub-Saharan Africa. However, financial management of grants at the implementation level can be weak due to insufficient financial management skills, which means funds may not be disbursed.

Ecobank’s contribution to the programme – split in cash contributions and services in kind – adds up to USD 3 million pledged over three years. Additionally, it has also made a significant contribution in the form of Global Fund advocacy, and has mobilised over 20,000 African employees in CSR activities.  The combination of 52 weeks of free training in capacity building projects in Nigeria and South Sudan, 80 people trained through workshops and 65 specific accounting interventions identified and resolved during assignments, have contributed to some encouraging results.

Critical Success Factors

  • Full engagement with local stakeholders has been critical, given the requirement for local ownership of the country projects.
  • A robust model for building financial management capacity, with proven benefits, and scalable to other countries.
  • But what makes the project particularly sustainable is that it links corporate and social responsibilities with the natural business development opportunities that derive from CSR work.