Category: Africa

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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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Institutions in Ghana to Charge Clients Unspecified Fee for Maintaining Deposits Beginning in October 2014

According to a statement attributed to Mr. Collins Amponsah, the board chairman of the Ghana association of microfinance companies (GAMC), an association of 560 member companies providing microfinance services, all Ghanaian microfinance institutions (MFIs) that are members of GAMC will begin charging clients an unspecified fee for managing their deposits beginning in October of 2014. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Globacom Launches Glo Xchange in Nigeria to Share 42k-Agent Mobile Money Network with Customers of Ecobank, First Bank, Stanbic

Globacom, a Nigerian telecommunications company that serves 25 million mobile phone subscribers in four countries in Africa, reportedly has launched Glo Xchange, opening its network of 42,000 agents to the following mobile money operators: FirstMonie, a mobile money initiative backed by First Bank of Nigeria; Ecobank, which has operations in 29 African countries; and Stanbic, a commercial bank that operates in Nigeria and Uganda. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Investment Bank, Tunisian-Kuwaiti Bank, Tunis Entrepreneurship Network Plan to Loan $52m to Tunisian Micro-, Small, Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs)

The European Investment Bank (EIB), the Luxembourg-based long-term lending bank of the European Union (EU); the Banque Tuniso-Koweitienne [Tunisian-Kuwaiti Bank] (BTK), a financial institution founded by the governments of Tunisia and Kuwait; and the Tunis Entrepreneurship Network (TEN), an association that assists entrepreneurs and small businesses in Tunisia, reportedly have announced a draft agreement to finance micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Tunisia. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “The Road to Inclusion: A Look at the Financially Excluded and Underserved;” Published by MasterCard

“The Road to Inclusion: A Look at the Financially Excluded and Underserved;” Published by MasterCard; May 2014; 18 pages; available at http://newsroom.mastercard.com/asia-pacific/documents/the-road-to-inclusion-a-look-at-the-financially-excluded-and-underserved

This report, published by US-based financial services corporation MasterCard, seeks to shed light on how people manage with limited financial services in Egypt, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, the Philippines and Vietnam. Continue reading

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SPECIAL REPORT: Clinton Global Initiative Members Emphasize Empowering Women and Girls for Fifth Consecutive Year

In the US city of New York today, at the tenth annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative, an effort by the US-based Clinton Foundation to connect public and private organizations to address problems such as poverty and climate change, a major focus was placed on empowering women and girls for the fifth consecutive year. Lilianne Ploumen, the Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, argued that it is critical to reach out to those with whom you generally disagree in order to seek common ground from which progress is possible. Regarding issues facing women and girls, Minister Ploumen argued that “leveling the playing field” for females involves more than economics, but extends into areas such as inheritance law, safety in transportation, and the passage and enforcement of laws against domestic violence. Continue reading

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