Partner Spotlight – Singo Africa
This regular blog series will shine the light on some of our top Partners. Not only do we want to recognize them for their accomplishments, we want others to learn from the approach they’ve taken to promote and implement Mifos.
Mifos Partners are one of the most crucial links in our community – they are the driving force that is promoting and supporting Mifos worldwide. Aside from championing our product and bringing the Mifos technology to new markets, they act as the fundamental bridge feeding in MFI requirements to be developed by the community. Partners don’t stop there as many are also developing and localizing the product to fit their local market. For all these reasons, we focus our full energy on making Partners successful – they are the primary channel to market, the eyes and ears on the ground, and the entrepreneurial force that will help us sustainably scale. We’d love to recognize your partner organization in this monthly spotlight so please reach out if you’d like to be featured.
Singo Africa Limited has been a Mifos partner since August of 2015, bringing their experience deploying IT solutions in the banking and manufacturing industries to the microfinance and SACCO sector. In that time, they’ve quickly made Mifos a recognizable name in Tanzania, promoting the system to more than 70% of the market. They were recently certified by the Registrar of Cooperatives as a Certified Service Provider to the Cooperative Societies with Mifos as the audited solution.
Let’s take some time to learn a bit more about Singo Africa directly from their team.
Meet Singo Africa Ltd.
Singo Africa Limited is business technology and consulting company bringing world class experience by focusing on adding value and stimulating competitiveness to its Africa business partners through their existing as well as new technologies and business services. The company is well integrated with the microfinance industry to ensure end-to-end value is delivered, resources are managed and risk is minimized; the company engages and collaborates with its esteemed customers, partners and stakeholders in transparently, respectful and integrity manner.
In particular we are partnering with the Mifos Initiative in consulting, implementing, training and supporting the Mifos X platform in Microfinance Institutions and SACCOs in Tanzania ensuring SACCOs and Microfinance Institutions are well advised to have a tailored, scalable and maintainable solution.
We have been participating in the Mifos X community through users and developers meetings, mailing lists, and Mifos chatroom for almost a year now. We are looking forward to reaching all customers and stakeholders in one year’s time and to extend our services to EAC and SADC economic blocks.
The company consists of 13+ full time employees and keeps on increasing in which some majority are dedicated to Mifos X and the rest focused on banking, IT and accounting. We have invested much on acquiring the knowledge and experience of the microfinance industry enough to providing Mifos X platform with high-quality services to our customers and all stakeholders.
Singo Africa Limited is also providing business technology services to other industries apart from microfinance services. For more information please visit www.singo.co.tz
Contributions Singo Africa has Made to Date
We managed to engage the regulator of the sector i.e. Tanzania Cooperative and Development Commission and we are among the few certified software solution providers in Tanzania Co-operatives. This has happened after presenting the deep analysis of Mifos X platform and verify that it’s fit for purpose in Tanzania Saving Co-Operatives.
Our goals have been to first ensure the solution we provide is approved by the law of the land, especially because we work in the area where the government needs significant improvement in order to eradicate poverty. Secondly, we are ensuring we spread the message as much as we can in the shortest period possible.
What Motivates Singo Africa’s Contributions?
We were looking for a solution which is world class, scalable and affordable to Africa business, in particular MFIs e.g. SACCOS. We strive to provide a solution that bridges the gap of what a corporate bank customer vs a normal poor community user residing at the far end of our country gets. We wanted our company to contribute to the community where we originate and importantly, actually live. The Mifos Initiative community, through its platform, made us immediately and proudly settle.
Who are you working with right now?
Singo Africa Limited deeply believes in working with partners to complement each other to ensure the end-user benefit.
For this we thank our partners for the support they have provided, and we assure them a continued collaborative, transparency and integrity engagement. In particular we thanks and acknowledge TAMFI, SCCULT, TFC, MuCO for their support. To our esteemed customers, you are why we are!!! Let’s Grow Together!!!
What is your focus now and heading into 2017?
We still want to spread the message reach all potential users of the solution in the country, to ensure the solution is known, deployed and used. We shall also prepare to host a national users conference to happen not later by 2018.
We also planning to invest time and resource to at least complete functional specification on possibility of integrating Mifos X platform with other closed or open source accounting software so that we can let customer use the accounting software of their choice.
Singo Africa’s Words of Advice for Others in the Community
All community users and developers should cooperate to make sure that all user requirements and challenges are well understood and incorporated into Mifos X releases. As a community we can never go wrong by aggressively emphasizing documentation of the solutions, FAQ, etc. to ease adoption to new users.
Our strength as a community will depend on how relentlessly we collaborate and continue using the current platforms available as well as other platforms which can help us to collaborate even more.
Now Let’s Meet the Team Personally
Upendo Mollel: She is the one who manages the projects of Mifos in Singo Africa Limited and for her, it’s very crucial to understand the needs and challenges of the customer before you think of servicing them. She has been working with the Mifos X functional requirement specifications. Upendo is thorough and a perfectionist!
Leah Mbilinyi: Leah is in charge of business development, training and partner development, she is the advocate of the user feeling and experiences inside the company. Leah spends more of her time with customers than in the office; she always believes that impossible is just a comment and so she has been a motivation to the team by her good spirit. She is more interested in learning than through reading books. Leah is cheerful and very much loves her son, which is reflective of her love for all people!
Mexina Daniel: She is working in the development part of Mifos X to make sure that the system meets the requirements of the customers, and so has been working hand in hand with Upendo and Leah to acquire the knowledge of microfinance processes. She is pleased with Mifos X on how it is able to meet the needs of microfinance institutions. From her “I believe that always there is something to learn and also Mifos has shown that technology has the power to change the world in many ways”. Mexina is our example of those people who are punctual in whatever they do!
Boniphace Fredrick: He thinks mobile apps are very important to today’s world and so he has been working on Mifos mobile app to see if he can make enhancements. His advice to Mifos users is “Mifos X is microfinance software which has almost everything needed, the users should optimize it to its full potential.”
Agness Meena: She is working in database optimization and all issues on business intelligence. For her she believe in getting it right at the first attempt! We are looking forward to making things easy to end-users, regulators and all stakeholders of the sector. The team is very happy to have Agnes with us.
Augustino Emmanuel: He is working as an intern but has been a part of the team and is so helpful. It’s good that we have him because he is focused on the logics of the software in the accounting side. Augustino’s dual accounting and IT skills are very resourceful for us.
The team is supported by other supporting staff e.g. Joyce Moshi, not pictured as our accountant and Barakael Mosi, not in the picture as an overall team leader. The team is being motivated, mentored, and developed, resourced and natured by Sendoro Juma, also not in picture! Last but not least, Mama Baraka, not in the picture, ensures health of the team is not compromised and that are working environment are comfortable.
The rest of the team are fully dealing with other vertical industries hence, no need to mention them here!