Akili – Kenya

Akili creates and adds value for wealth creation in over 300 rural communities in Kenya.

Short description social enterprise

Akili is a carbon-credit pioneer, in the developmen of inclusive value chain projects for community development. The Akili group is a last-mile implementer of value chains for sustainable thriving eco-systems. They works to improve the quality of life in farming communities through an entire value chain approach. Akili has realised value chains for livestock, horticulture, cookstoves, grain storage, agroforestry, water filters, fruits, biochar production, bee keeping, coffee and herbs. At its core, the inclusive value chain model was designed to create a platform for collaboration in order to serve communities.

On the frontline are Akili’s Ambassadors who are individuals from within the Akili community that understand the culture, the real struggles, and the needs of their fellow neighbors and community.

Short description solution/tool

Akili uses the following seven step community transformational model:

Step 1: organisation, structures, accountability

Mobilize and organize groups into functional, accountable units. Akili’s accountable groups hold each member accountable to commitments made jointly, be they commitment to adherence of protocols to making regular payments to their savings to participating in a carbon credit compliance programme.

Akili formalises the enlistment of groups through an MoU around an agreed activity, such as the planting of agroforestry trees such as avocados and macadamia nuts for income and also carbon credits for 30 years.

Step 2: Resource mobilisation and deployment

Funded by investments or other funding Akili funds an activity that can grow into a profitable enterprise. Akili engages human resources and partnerships to provide the critical resources required to ensure protocol follow through, funding for securing inputs and technical knowhow.

Step 3: Development/Deployment of scientifically crafted protocols for production and value addition

The third step is to develop scientifically crafted protocols for production and value addition, providing practical guidance in the field (our staff teaching lead farmers; establishing demo farms, building aggregation facilities).

Step 4: Facilitation for access to production inputs and livelihood necessities

Through our now grown Akili Development Savings and Credit Cooperative (ADS SACCO) members of our enlisted communities are taught to and are able to save, invest, and borrow to fund the necessities of their livelihoods and for production inputs. Timely application of inputs can contribute to more than dramatic improvements in production, farmers access finance, inputs, and markets, leading to increased productivity and income.

Step 5: Facilitating access to new knowledge, demonstrations, technology, and access to markets in value-added form

The fifth step is to support the group with knowledge, access to relevant agricultural knowledge, use of technology, and access to markets in value-added form, bypassing exploitative brokers.

Step 6: Permanent lifestyle change and generational behavior transfer

The sixth step is to strengthen the created institutional framework through partnerships and research and scaling of the selected activity. Akili’s community based engagements are long term, maintaining the protocol based production, access to money, knowledge and technology sustainably; contributing to the improvement of local infrastructure; encouraging learning and attracting young talent (scientists, agronomists, value adding food processing experts) to be based in and grow well paying careers in the enlisted communities.

Step 7: Infrastructural improvements

Investing in infrastructural improvements in rural Africa is key to stemming urban migration. People, often the most promising human resources in a community, leave their rural settings in pursuit of economic opportunities, access to basic services, and enhanced overall quality of life.

Towards a reversal of this trend, Akili partners with investors, donors and government to improve infrastructural improvements such as access to clean drinking water, computers and science labs in schools and improvements of local health facilities. Such improvements are intended to make rural communities more self-sufficient and attract new businesses, thereby reducing the need for residents to migrate to urban areas in search of employment and better living conditions.

The Akili project is open for expansion into new territory. The Akili method requires that communities organize themselves into accountable units to work together for economic output and as peace promoters

Available tools which could be useful for partners to communities, or change agents based in communities:

Where to find more

●     https://www.ashoka.org/en-in/fellow/haron-wachira

●     https://www.akiligroup.co.ke/

Who’s best to contact

●            If you want to check if your community is ready to join the Akili network, reach out here: https://akiligroup.co.ke/contact/

Contact Form