Category: Africa

MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “The Next Stage of Financial Inclusion;” by Dean Karlan; Published by Stanford Social Innovation Review

“The Next Stage of Financial Inclusion;” by D. Karlan; published by the Stanford Social Innovation Review; fall 2014; 9 pages; available at: http://www.ssireview.org/pdf/Fall_2014_The_Next_Stage_of_Financial_Inclusion_1.pdf

This paper investigates the evolving role of nonprofit organizations in providing microcredit to people with low incomes. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Togo-based EcoBank to Accept MasterCard Debit, Credit, Prepaid Cards via 2,500 ATMs, 10,000 Points of Sale in 28 African Countries

MasterCard, a US-based payment solutions company, recently partnered with EcoBank Transnational Incorporated (EcoBank), a Togo-based bank, to enable Ecobank’s customers to use MasterCard debit, credit and prepaid cards at all of Ecobank’s point-of-sale (PoS) terminals and automated teller machines (ATMs). Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Turkish Government Launch “Finance and Advice to Women in Business” 

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based multilateral financial institution, along with the European Union Delegation to Turkey, the Turkish Employment Agency and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security of the Republic of Turkey recently launched the “Finance and Advice to Women in Business” program, an initiative that aims to strengthen and increase the role of women in the Turkish economy. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Kenyan Regulators Approve Equity Bank Mobile Money Services Despite Security Objections from Safaricom

The Communications Authority (CA) of Kenya, the government body that regulates the communication industry in the country, and the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), the country’s central banking authority, have given their approval to Equity Bank, a private Kenyan microfinance bank, to roll out a one-year pilot of its mobile money services using “Thin Sim technology” [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen Foundation, MicroEnsure, Penda, Clifford Chance Launch Uzima Health Microinsurance in Kenya

The Grameen Foundation, a US-based nonprofit organization; MicroEnsure, a UK-based, for-profit microinsurance company founded by US-based NGO Opportunity International; Penda Health, a Kenya-based, for-profit chain of medical centers; and Clifford Chance, a UK-based international law firm, recently announced that they have launched an initiative called the “Uzima Project” in Kenya with the aim of providing “low-cost“ health insurance. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Commences Advisory Services for Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Morocco

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based financial institution that operates in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and North Africa, recently began offering advisory services to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Morocco. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Oxus Raises $4.2m in Equity from Investors including Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development (ACTED) for Expansion in Asia, Africa

The Oxus Group, a French microfinance organization with subsidiaries in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and three Asian countries, recently raised EUR 3.3 million (USD 4.2 million) in equity through its unit Oxus Holding by selling equity shares to the Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development (ACTED), which already had been its majority shareholder, and three unnamed retail investors. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: SolarNow Raises $2.5m from Novastar Ventures, Acumen Fund

SolarNow, an Ugandan-based company selling solar electric home systems, recently raised EUR 2 million (USD 2.53 million) by selling equity shares to Novastar Ventures, a Mauritius-based fund investing in new businesses with ‘innovative’ business models in Africa, and Acumen Fund, a New-York based nonprofit venture fund. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to Provide $3.9m in Advisory Services to Airtel Uganda to Expand Mobile Money

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group that aims to improve the living standards of people in developing countries, recently announced that it will partner with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a US-based nonprofit that supports innovations in health and education, to provide advisory services valued at USD 3.9 million to Airtel Uganda, a subsidiary of Indian telecommunications company Bharti Airtel. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen Crédit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF) to Loan $1.1m to FINCA Malawi, $580k to Réseau de Micro-institutions de Croissance de Revenus of Mali

The Grameen Crédit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF), a Luxembourg-based foundation providing financial services to microfinance institutions (MFIs) and other social businesses, recently informed to MicroCapital that it disbursed a three-year loan in local currency equivalent in value to EUR 882,000 (USD 1.1 million) to Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA) Malawi, a microfinance institution (MFI) member of the US-based, nonprofit FINCA International microfinance network. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation Loans $609k to Juhudi Kilimo of Kenya

The Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF), a Luxembourg-based investor in microfinance institutions (MFIs) and other social businesses, recently notified MicroCapital that it has disbursed a three-year, local-currency loan equivalent to EUR 482,000 (USD 609,000) to Juhudi Kilimo, a for-profit microlender in Kenya [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Développement International Desjardins (DID), Agence Française de Développement (AFD) to Support Faîtière des Unités Coopératives d’Epargne et de Crédit du Togo (FUCEC-TOGO) in Product Development

Développement International Desjardins (DID), a nonprofit subsidiary of Canadian cooperative Desjardins Group, and Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the country’s body for international development, recently announced an agreement to co-finance the creation of products and services for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that are served by members of Faîtière des Unités Coopératives d’Epargne et de Crédit du Togo (FUCEC-TOGO), a network of 39 financial cooperatives in Togo. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC) Loans $4m to Advans Côte d’Ivoire for On-lending to Micro-, Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs)

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group that offers financial services to businesses and governments in developing countries with the aim of increasing economic growth, has announced that it will loan CFA 2 billion (USD 4.3 million) to Advans Côte d’Ivoire, a bank that was founded in 2012 to provide savings and lending services to micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the country. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: BIO, Cordaid, Incofin, KfW Commit $25m to Launch Wholesale Fund for DRC Under Nonprofit Fonds pour l’inclusion financière en République Démocratique Congo (FPM)

The Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO), which is owned by the government of Belgium and seeks to support the sustainable development of the private sector; the Catholic Organisation for Relief and Development Aid (Cordaid), a Netherlands-based NGO; Incofin Investment Management (Incofin), a private Belgian company that manages funds investing in microfinance institutions (MFIs) in developing countries; and Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau Entwicklungsbank (KfW), a state-owned development bank in Germany, jointly have offered a “capital contribution” of USD 25.1 million for Fonds pour l’inclusion financière en République Démocratique Congo (FPM), a nonprofit in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: African Development Bank Group (AfDB) Approves $5m Line Of Credit for AB Microfinance Bank Nigeria

AB Microfinance Bank Nigeria (ABN), a microfinance institution (MFI) offering financial services to micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), recently acquired access to a Line of Credit (LOC) in the amount of USD 5 million, equivalent in NGN, from the African Development Bank (AfDB), a multilateral institution providing loans and grants to governments and private companies. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Canadian Government Donates $309m to African Development Fund (ADF)

The Canadian Minister of International Development, Christian Paradis, recently announced that the Canadian government will provide CAD 309 million (USD 279 million) to the African Development Fund (ADF), a fund that provides loans and grants to its 40 African member countries, to support the 13th replenishment of ADF’S budget funds. Continue reading

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