2016 Faculty Bios
2016 Faculty Bios
Hugh Allen, Founder, VSL Associates
Hugh Allen has worked in development since 1970, focusing for most of the last fifteen years on microfinance and technology-focused market development activities. For thirteen years, he worked for CARE and was its chief technical advisor for small economic activity development in Africa. It was during this time that he first came across the Village Saving and Lending Association (VSLA) model and realized its potential.
These days, he works exclusively to promote its adoption by multi-sectoral development agencies and southern NGOs. He is on the faculty of University of New Hampshire’s Sustainable Microenterprise and Development Program and the Boulder Microfinance Training program. He is also the co-facilitator of the SEEP working group on savings-led financial services. He has published books with ITDG on technology-related activities and savings-led financial services.
Andrew Mnjama, Independent Microfinance Consultant
Andrew Mnjama focused his attention on alternative financial service systems over the past eight years and has developed a special affinity to the Savings Groups methodology.
He is currently based in Kigali, serving as an independent microfinance consultant for an International Development Organization. Andrew has 24 years of combined microfinance and banking experience, working with different microfinance models, including financial NGO-donor based operations and commercial bank-led models. He founded Sterling Micro Development Consultants Ltd.-Kenya that oversaw projects in microfinance, housing microfinance, enterprise development, and organizational leadership. A similar company – Sterling Micro Development Consultants Ltd., Rwanda was registered to offer Management Consultancy services, Market Research & Product Development, Data Management & Information Systems; as well as set up integrated development projects in Rwanda, with Savings Groups at the core of all these initiatives.
Andrew has a Master of Arts in Mission and Development Practice awarded by the University of Wales in collaboration with the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies in Oxford, UK. His dissertation was entitled: “A Critical Examination of the Viability of the Village Saving and Lending (VSL) Microfinance Model in Kenya – the Case of the COSAMO project”. His vision is to contribute to the holistic transformation of individuals, organizations, communities, and nations through a passion for transformational development.