Together we will make something of it

“We are control freaks in Belgium. In Burkina, I learned that things can also be done differently.”

“Honestly? I am gradually starting to feel at home at CIF-VIE in Burkina.” The broad smile on Cera advisor Alain Baeck’s face speaks volumes. He worked on an internal audit at CIF-VIE in Burkina Faso together with Lieve Meganck, head of a KBC Group Corporate Audit Team. It was Lieve’s first and Alain’s fourth visit to the micro-insurer.


On the road

Alain: “CIF-VIE sells insurance to farmers who received a microcredit through the RCPB (Réseau des Caisses Populaires du Burkina). While a credit serves as a lever for a better income, insurance provides long-term security.”

Lieve: “They offer accident insurance, pension savings and their main product is loan balance insurance. The aim of these insurance policies is to prevent the borrower or his/her surviving relatives from falling back into poverty because the loan cannot be repaid in the event of an accident or death.”

Alain: “As most people in Burkina Faso make a living from farming, RCPB is increasingly focusing its range of microcredit products on farmers. Therefore, the related CIF-VIE micro-insurance policies are primarily intended for this target group.”

Internal audit

Lieve: “Burkina Faso’s Ministry of Finance obliges micro-insurers to carry out an internal audit once a year. They scrutinise the insurance procedures and evaluate whether they are set up properly and work in practice.”

Alain: “CIF-VIE does not have the resources to carry out the internal audit itself. Therefore, the audit is outsourced to a five-member team consisting of auditors from RCPB and staff from the Confédération d’Institutions Financières (CIF), of which CIF-VIE is a member. Lieve and I participated for BRS.”

Major step forward

Lieve: “Our added value lies in the expertise we have built up at KBC. I have been auditing for KBC Group for over 25 years and I am very keen to apply my experience in the South. Especially since it takes place in a spirit of partnership. You discuss matters and exchange experience and information.”

Alain: “The explicit intention is for our role to be gradually reduced. The fact that CIF-VIE has recently recruited its own internal auditor, Anatole Samandougoulou, is a major step forward. Along with the introduction of a new IT system, this offers many opportunities!”

Control freaks

Lieve: “My first assignment for BRS turned out to be an experience that I won’t forget in a hurry. Although I must admit that at the beginning I did not have much faith in the approach of the RCPB and CIF employees. Faced with a very important assignment they regularly sat around the table joking and laughing. Their attitude was that tomorrow is another day. It made me very nervous.”

Alain: “I had to reassure Lieve more than once. I myself had every confidence in them. They are competent people who achieve a lot with limited resources. And look: at the end of the week, it all worked out!”

Lieve: “Well yes, but at KCB Group I am used to constantly managing my team, following them up and monitoring the planning. We are control freaks in that respect. In Burkina, I learned that things can also be done differently.”

Alain: “That’s the great thing about these assignments: you start out with your own know-how and try and teach people certain things, but actually you get a lot out of it too. It’s all about the exchanges. From my first visit to CIF-VIE, I had a feeling that together we can really achieve something here! And now, it’s happening. I am absolutely thrilled!”