Category: Africa

MICROFINANCE EVENT: AITEC Banking & Mobile Money Lagos 2015, July 28 – 29, 2015, Lagos, Nigeria

Event Name: AITEC Banking & Mobile Money Lagos 2015

Event Date: July 28 – 29, 2015

Event Location: Eko Hotel, Adetokunbo Ademola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria

Event Theme: Financial Empowerment through Trusted Payment Solutions

Event Summary: Now entering its eighth year, AITEC (African Information Technology Exhibitions and Conferences) Banking & Mobile Money Lagos 2015 will address issues in Nigeria’s financial services sector, including developments in payment technologies, best practices in information technology project deployment, and trends in customer service delivery. Additionally, broader themes of risk management, governance, regulation and compliance will be covered.

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Oradian Raises Seed Funding to Scale its Instafin Banking Software Platform Across West Africa

Oradian, a Croatian startup that provides cloud-based software for microfinance institutions in developing economies, announced recently that it has raised seed funding from various investors to scale its products across West Africa, an effort that will include expanding its team in its offices in Croatia and Nigeria. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC) to Loan $15m to Chase Bank Kenya, Advise on Financial Access for Women Entrepreneurs

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group, recently announced an agreement to provide a loan of USD 15 million and 15 months of advisory services to Chase Bank Kenya, a privately owned bank in Kenya [1]. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Messrs United Cement Company of Nigeria (UNICEM), Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) Partner on $5m Loan to Nigerian MFI Lift Above Poverty Organization (LAPO)

Messrs United Cement Company of Nigeria (UNICEM), an indirect subsidiary of the French construction materials company Lafarge, and Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the international development department of the French government, reportedly have collaborated to loan NGN 1 billion (USD 5 million) to Lift Above Poverty Organization (LAPO), a Nigerian microfinance institution (MFI), for funding the construction of 5,000 new housing units in the country.  Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: The MasterCard Foundation, TechnoServe Extend “Strengthening Rural Youth Development through Enterprise” (STRYDE) in East Africa

The MasterCard Foundation, which is based in Canada, and TechnoServe, a US-based nonprofit organization, recently announced five-year, USD 25.9 million partnership to support 48,000 young people in rural East Africa via a second phase of the Strengthening Rural Youth Development through Enterprise (STRYDE) program, which was first launched in August 2011[1]. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC), Government of Guinea-Bissau to Promote Leasing to Small, Medium-sized Enterprise

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group that offers financial services to businesses and governments in developing countries with the aim of increasing economic growth, recently announced that it has signed a cooperation agreement with the government of Guinea-Bissau. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MasterCard, Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) Seek to Advance Financial Inclusion via Public-Private Dialogue (PPD)

MasterCard, a US-based payments and technology company, and the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), a network of 124 financial policymaking institutions from developing and emerging economies, recently announced a partnership within AFI’s Public-Private Dialogue Platform (PPD) to promote financial inclusion [1]. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: C-Quadrat Asset Management’s Dual Return Vision Funds Loan $1.25m to Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in Armenia, Ghana

During April 2015, Austria’s C-Quadrat Asset Management disbursed from its Dual Return Funds local-currency loans totaling USD 1.25 million to unspecified microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Armenia and Ghana. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Money Transfer Startups Bitpesa, Igot Leverage Bitcoin to Reduce Price of Remittances

Currency exchange companies such as Kenya’s BitPesa and Australia’s Igot are tapping into remittance markets such as Kenya’s, which reached a volume of USD 1.43 billion in 2014, by using Bitcoin transfers to undercut the fees charged by firms such as US-based Western Union to deliver money across national borders.  Continue reading


MICROFINANCE EVENT: African Microfinance Week (Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance), June 29 – July 3, 2015, Dakar, Senegal, With On-site Reporting by MicroCapital

Event Name: African Microfinance Week (Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance) 2015

Event Dates: June 29 – July 3, 2015

Location: King Fahd Palace Conference Center, Dakar, Senegal

Event Summary: The second annual African Microfinance Week will center around “accelerating innovative rural finance in Africa,” providing practitioners with a venue for exchanging ideas and reflecting on the trajectory of the industry. The event is designed to improve “the synergies” between the Benin-based African Microfinance Network (AFMIN), an association of 21 national microfinance networks; the African Microfinance Transparency Forum (AMT), a South Africa-based group that aims to strengthen the performance of African microfinance institutions (MFIs); the African Rural & Agricultural Credit Association (AFRACA), a Kenya-based group of 105 central banks, retail financial service providers and microfinance networks; and the Microfinance African Institutions Network (MAIN), a Cote d’Ivoire-based NGO with 71 members. The program is sponsored by the governments of Senegal and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg with support from the US-based Citi Foundation; the Luxembourg-based European Investment Bank; the United Nations Capital Development Fund; and Microfact, a nonprofit, web-based platform that provides toolkits for building the capacity of MFIs. The week will include plenary sessions, trainings, an investors’ fair and the general assemblies of AFMIN and MAIN. The primary languages of the event will be French and English. MicroCapital will provide sponsored, onsite coverage of selected sessions. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Safaricom, Vodacom Partner to Support Cross-Border Mobile Money Transactions Between Kenya, Tanzania via M-Pesa

Safaricom, a Kenya-based telecommunications company, has partnered with South Africa-based telecommunications firm Vodacom to offer cross-border transactions via M-Pesa, a mobile money service developed by UK-based telecom company Vodafone, which is a majority shareholder in both Safaricom and Vodacom.  Continue reading