Each year, DID honours certain of its partners who have distinguished themselves by their dynamism, talent and commitment to increasing access to financial services for their community.
DID is proud to present to you its four Outstanding Partners for 2009. Their exceptional contribution to the development and strengthening of their community finance institutions is a source of inspiration for us all.
Outstanding Partners 2009
Sigitas Bubnys Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Lithuanian Central Credit Union
Recruited in 1994 by DID to take part in the project to set up a Lithuanian network of financial cooperatives, Sigitas Bubnys played an active role in the evolution of this network, eventually becoming its director general. Among other contributions, he helped to introduce numerous innovations, such as the liquidity management fund and the stabilization fund, which today contribute to the financial health of the cooperatives and the network as a whole. Above all, he played a central role in the creation of the Lithuanian Central Credit Union (LCCU) of which he is now director general. This outstanding administrator is widely respected not only in his own country but also on the international scene.
The LCCU is the apex organization for 61 financial cooperatives located throughout the country, and is a flagship of the Lithuanian economy. It is important to note that the LCCU is the only Lithuanian-owned financial institution in the country, since all the banks operating there are owned by foreign interests. It therefore provides vital leverage for the economic development of Lithuania.
Sigitas Bubnys also played an active role in setting up the Proxfin network for study and discussion, which brings together some 30 community finance institutions that are DID partners. Founding vice chairman of this international network, he was elected chairman in November 2009 at the Proxfin international seminar hosted by the LCCU.
Sigitas Bubnys is distinguished by his constructive approach, optimism, ability to bring people together and his leadership qualities. Whether working on behalf of the LCCU or Proxfin or, in a broader perspective, for the development of microfinance, he has always proven himself to be a key player and a dynamic and much appreciated partner.
Khady Fall Diop Coordinator of the health mutual of the PAMÉCAS network (Senegal)
Khady Fall Diop is one of the pioneers of the PAMÉCAS network of savings and credit cooperatives in Senegal. As early as 1996, she was involved in the emergence of the financial cooperatives as director of a base coop in Pikine. Her commitment and efforts bore fruit. Today PAMÉCAS is a vast network of 37 cooperatives with 428 employees. It reaches almost 500,000 members and clients and has assets worth nearly CAN $100 million.
After being named chair of her cooperative's board of directors, Khady Fall Diop became the first woman to chair the board of directors of the Union, the apex organization for all the cooperatives in the network. In this role she proudly represented them both nationally and internationally from 2001 to 2005.
In 2006, Khady Fall Diop was hired by the network as coordinator for its health mutual. She poured all her energy into this role, so that the network could ensure social protection for the great majority of the population who, at that time, did not have access to a formal system of health coverage. Initially introduced in her cooperative, the mutual soon expanded throughout the network due to its success, thereby facilitating access to health care for members and their families. Subsequently, Khady Fall Diop has worked to promote health microinsurance systems throughout Africa, and even as far as Europe
Cresente Paez Representative of the NATCCO network of cooperatives in the Philippine House of Representatives
The NATCCO network of financial cooperatives (National Confederation of Cooperatives) in the Philippines owes a great deal to Cresente Paez. As director general of the network from 2004 to 2009, this tireless worker played a vital role in the reconfiguration of NATCCO and the refocusing of its activities on financial intermediation, at a time when several coops were offering a multitude of non-financial services. Disarmingly unpretentious and always true to his word, he was able to convince the cooperatives that the proposed undertaking was well-founded. He maintained the course and thereby ensured the success of this ambitious operation, despite the resistance that he sometimes encountered along the way.
Today, thanks to the relentless work of Cresente Paez, NATCCO is a world class financial institution. Solid, credible and more integrated, it is now exclusively focused on community finance and able to offer its members the quality service that they expect.
In 2009, NATCCO stakeholders demonstrated their continued confidence in Cresente Paez, electing him head of the institution's political section. In this role, he represents NATCCO in the Philippine House of Representatives, where he has imposed himself as a visionary who is proactive in the development of the country's cooperatives.
Héctor Vásquez Tinoco Director General of the Caja Popular Hipódromo, UNISAP (Mexico)
In 1973, Héctor Vásquez Tinoco worked all year long to set up the Hipódromo financial cooperative, which today is affiliated with the UNISAP federation in the state of Durango in Mexico. In addition to being a founding member, he has held several positions within the cooperative of which he is currently director general.
Wishing to ensure the performance and good governance of the Mexican financial cooperative movement, Héctor Vásquez Tinoco played an important role in the integration of the cooperatives into a federated network. In addition, he campaigned ardently for regulation of the sector. His efforts brought his cooperative, and the entire financial cooperative movement of the country, strength and credibility. This greatly strengthened the members' sense of belonging, and resulted in sustained growth in membership.
Under the guidance of Héctor Vásquez Tinoco, and thanks to his convictions, the Hipódromo cooperative succeeded in obtaining certification from the Comisión Nacional Bancaria y de Valores (CNBV). This official recognition reflects its diligent operation and conformity with the principles laid out in the new legislation governing savings and credit cooperatives. Today his cooperative is recognized as one of the most important in the north of the country.
Ousmane Sidibé Chairman of the Commune VI cooperative, Nyèsigiso network (Mali)
A teacher by profession, Ousmane Sidibé chose to become involved in his community by taking an active part in setting up the Yirimadio savings and credit cooperative and encouraging others to become members. In recognition of his influence in the community and the awareness efforts that he organized, he was elected to the first board of directors of the cooperative when it opened in January 1997. Over the years, this cooperative has become a powerful tool for development in the community and a source of pride for its members.
As a board member, Ousmane Sidibé committed himself to training the institution's other directors. To this end he shared his time and his experience with governance and the division of roles and responsibilities. He extended his commitment in 2002, becoming a board member of the Nyèsigiso network of savings and credit cooperatives, a position he still holds today. He also chaired the steering committee for the network reconfiguration project, which played a great part in maintaining the efficiency and profitability of the cooperatives. The scope of this operation and the fears it engendered demanded conviction and tenacity on the part of Ousmane Sidibé, both of which he demonstrated throughout the process.
The reconfiguration of Nyèsigiso led to the amalgamation of the Yirimadio cooperative with four other cooperatives, and it was in Ousmane Sidibé that the members placed their confidence, making him chairman of Commune VI, the new cooperative resulting from the amalgamation.
* Proxfin is a network of 25 community finance institution partners of Développement international Desjardins (DID) that has been set up to stimulate thought and discussion. Proxfin aims to facilitate communication among networks that share the same model and values and promote good practices in the field of community finance.