The Growth of the Local Expert Network
In 2020, we launched the Local Expert Network, a network of BDS providers across Africa. As of the end of 2021, we now have nine Local Experts working in a dozen African countries. Read on to find out more about how the Local Expert Network has grown and the work we have done together.
BDS providers are an important resource
Since its inception, SCOPEinsight has had the vision to unite stakeholders within agricultural value chains and strengthen the local ecosystem so that agribusiness professionalism is recognized and rewarded. As we see our tools being broadly implemented, we can also see the shift in behavioral led incentives. For example, in East Africa, many agribusinesses are paying for their own training to augment their professional acumen. In West Africa, agribusinesses are using SCOPE scores on professionalism to access loans.
However, in many countries, these BDS providers need to strengthen their own capacity by incorporating years of public sector investment and experience into their own service offerings. To bridge this transition from purely donor-driven service delivery to market-based service delivery, investment is still necessary. Therefore, with catalytic support from the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), we spearheaded an initiative (the Local Expert Network) to strengthen local BDS providers across Africa.
Our Local Expert Network
Currently, we have nine Local Experts who can provide services in twelve different African countries. Our Local Experts are all expert BDS providers, and they all have experience with SCOPEinsight tools.
We are working with the Local Experts to ensure they have adequate capacity to respond to the growing demand for skill strengthening in the countries where they each operate. Of utmost importance to us is that a data-driven way of working is embedded in the experts’ approach to sector strengthening. Our experts stand out due to their knowledge of the local market, a proven track record of delivering complementary services to those offered by SCOPEinsight, and their drive to expand their business. Lastly, the Local Experts are a good link between financial institutions and agri-SMEs. We are currently working on a project with AGRA and four Local Experts (Sundy Merchants, AgriVision Sahel, PearlMutual, and MDF) to pilot our bankability metrics and introduce them to local banks, thereby making loans more accessible for agribusinesses.
Plans for the future
In 2022 and beyond, we hope to work more with our current Local Experts and add more experts to our network. Our Local Experts are an important resource for agribusiness professionalism. The business development services provided, in tandem with SCOPE assessments, give agribusinesses a clear path towards professionalism and the associated benefits.
Are you interested in working with our Local Experts or becoming one yourself? Contact us today to see how we can leverage these partnerships to increase your success.Back to news