Category: Africa

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC) Announces $1m in Advisory Services to Airtel Zambia to Strengthen Financial Inclusion

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private-investment arm of the US-based World Bank Group, recently announced that it will enter into an advisory services agreement with Airtel Zambia, a subsidiary of the Indian telecommunications company Bharti Airtel. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: United Nations’ International Labour Office, World Bank Group (WBG) to Provide Index Microinsurance in Developing Countries in Africa, Asia

The International Labour Office (ILO), an agency of the United Nations
that deals with labour standards, and the World Bank Group (WBG), a
group of five multilateral organizations that invest in developing
countries, reportedly have entered into a three-year partnership with
the aim of providing index microinsurance products in Africa and Asia
through ILO’s Microinsurance Innovation Facility (MIF), which provides grants to organizations to develop microinsurance products, and WBG’s Global Index Insurance Facility (GIIF), a trust fund that supports disaster and weather index insurance markets. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Rwanda’s Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MINECOFIN), Access to Finance Rwanda (AFR), Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau Entwicklungsbank (KfW) Launch $4m Microfinance Challenge Fund to Support Microfinance Institutions (MFIs)

The Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning of Rwanda (MINECOFIN), the Rwandan government’s authority on finance; Access to Finance Rwanda (AFR), a Kigali-based investment company that promotes financial inclusion in Rwanda; and Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau Entwicklungsbank (KfW), a German development bank, recently have launched the Microfinance Challenge Fund Rwanda (MCFR), which will deploy EUR 3 million (USD 3.98 million) as loans to support microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Rwanda. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Likely to Loan Morocco’s Banque Centrale Populaire (BCP), Affiliates $133m for On-lending to Micro-, Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs)

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a multilateral institution headquartered in London, is considering disbursing a loan of up to EUR 100 million (USD 133 million) to Banque Centrale Populaire, a member of the Moroccan mutual banking group Groupe Banque Centrale Populaire (GBCP), as well as to 10 affiliated regional popular banks”[1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen-Jameel Microfinance Donates $1m to Kiva Partnership “Change is in Your Hands,” Supporting Microlenders in Middle East, North Africa; Offers Additional $1m in Matching Funds

Kiva, a US-based nonprofit crowdfunding organization that raises money for microfinance institutions (MFIs), and Grameen-Jameel Microfinance Limited, a Cyprus-based nonprofit joint venture of the US-based Grameen Foundation and Saudi Arabia-based Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives have reportedly entered into a partnership to launch the “Change is in Your Hands” campaign, an initiative which uses the website http://www.kiva.org/middleeast to support lending initiatives that will provide financing to entrepreneurs in the Middle East and North Africa. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Mobile Telecommunications Network (MTN) Ghana Partners with Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in Ghana to Improve Mobile Money Systems

Mobile Telecommunications Network (MTN) Ghana, the Ghanaian arm of South Africa-based MTN, reportedly has partnered with several unspecified microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Ghana to allow the MFIs’ customers to use the MTN Mobile Money service to make loan payments. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: African Development Bank (AfDB) Issues $80m in Local- Currency Bond in Nigeria’s Capital Market

The African Development Bank (AfDB), a multilateral finance institution based in Tunisia and gives loans and grants to governments and private companies in Africa, reportedly has raised NGN 12.95 billion (USD 80 million) by issuing a 7-year local-currency bond in the Nigerian market. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bank of Ghana Demands Photos of Owners of Microfinance Institutions to Deter Theft of Deposits

The Bank of Ghana (BoG), the central bank of the country, reportedly has implemented more stringent regulations for microfinance institutions (MFIs) in an effort to address an increase in discontinued organizations and stolen customer deposits, which reportedly have been attributed to “bad management practices, increasing non-performing loans, fraudulent activities and expansion without commensurate increase in capacity. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Econet’s EcoCash, MasterCard to Provide Debit Cards to Mobile Money Users in Zimbabwe

EcoCash, a mobile money service offered by South Africa-based mobile communications company Econet Wireless, and MasterCard Incorporated, a US-based payments and technology company, reportedly have reached an agreement to issue approximately 3 million MasterCard debit cards to EcoCash customers in Zimbabwe over the next five years. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Launches India-based InfrasoftTech’s OMNIEnterprise Microfinance Software in Gaza, Jordan, Syria, West Bank

InfrasoftTech, a financial software firm that was founded in 1995 and IS based in Mumbai, India, reportedly has announced that the microfinance department of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which provides education, health care, social services has adopted InfrasoftTech’s OMNIEnterprise Microfinance Solution, a banking software system across its operations in: Gaza, Jordan, Syria and the West Bank. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Accion’s Frontier Investments Invests Equity in Britain’s Eseye, Provider of Machine-to-Machine “M2M” Services That Can Facilitate Utility Service to Low-Income Households

Accion’s Frontier Investments Group, a venture-equity initiative that seeks to invest in companies serving financially excluded populations, has invested an undisclosed amount in Eseye Limited, a UK-based machine-to-machine (M2M) technology provider, during Eseye’s series-B financing round, which raised a total of USD 9 million. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE EVENT: AlHuda Center of Islamic Banking and Economics to Host 4th Global Islamic Microfinance Forum, November 1-4, 2014, Dubai, UAE

Event Name: 4th Global Islamic Microfinance Forum

Event Date: Conference: November 1-2, 2014; Post-conference workshop: November 3-4, 2014

Event Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates  Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “Self-Selection into Credit Markets: Evidence from Agriculture in Mali;” by Lori Beaman, Dean Karlan, Bram Thuysbaert, Christopher Udry

“Self-Selection into Credit Markets: Evidence from Agriculture in Mali;” by Lori Beaman, Dean Karlan, Bram Thuysbaert and Christopher Udry; released as a working paper by Poverty Action Lab; May 2014; 36 pages; available at http://www.povertyactionlab.org/evaluation/self-selection-credit-markets-mali

In Mali, as in many parts of the developing world, agriculture sustains the livelihood of the vast majority of citizens. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Infinity Microfinance Bank, Partnership for Transforming Health Systems 2 (PATHS2) to Expand Micro Health Insurance Coverage in Nigeria

Infinity Microfinance Bank, a Nigerian microbank, and the Partnership for Transforming Health Systems 2 (PATHS2), a program intended to improve Nigeria’s health system that is funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), reportedly will collaborate to expand PATHS2’s “Micro Health Insurance Scheme” (MHIS) in the country. Continue reading

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