MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: ZAMFI Blames Zimbabwe’s Liquidity Challenges for Microfinance Portfolio-at-risk (PAR) Ratio Surpassing 12%

The Zimbabwe Association of Microfinance Institutions (ZAMFI), a 100-member advocacy group, recently announced its members’ aggregate portfolio-at-risk (PAR) ratio rose from 8.3 percent in December 2016 to 12 percent in March 2017, citing both “corporates and individuals fail[ing] to honour their debt obligations due to the liquidity crisis.”

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Benin’s Government Hikes Microcredit Program Budget to $5m

The government of Benin recently increased the budget of its “Microcredit for Very Poor People” program to XOF 3 billion (USD 5.2 million) from XOF 1.2 billion (USD 2.2 million). The program serves people “ineligible for classical bank financing”

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Fairtrade Access Fund Issues $3m Trade-finance Loan to Cote d’Ivoire’s Enterprise Cooperative Kimbe (Ecookim), Supporting 12k Cocoa Farmers

German development bank Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) recently notified MicroCapital that the Fairtrade Access Fund (FAF), which invests in initiatives supporting farmers in developing countries, has issued a trade finance loan of USD 3 million to Enterprise Cooperative Kimbe (Ecookim), a union of 23 cooperatives in Cote d’Ivoire. 

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Advans Cote d’Ivoire, Aga Khan’s PAMF-Mali Borrowing $3.8m from Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation

The Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF), a Luxembourg-based provider of financial services to social businesses, recently informed MicroCapital that it has committed to extending the following local-currency loans in phases over three years: the equivalent of USD 2.9 million to Advans Cote d’Ivoire and the equivalent of USD 890,000 to Premiere Agence de MicroFinance (PAMF) Mali.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: BIMAS of Kenya, AMZ of Zambia, PAIDEK of DR Congo Borrow $2m from Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation

The Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF), a Luxembourg-based provider of financial services to social businesses, recently informed MicroCapital that it has committed to extending the following local-currency loans in phases over three years: the equivalent of USD 838,000 to Business Initiatives and Management Assistance Services (BIMAS) of Kenya, the equivalent of USD 582,000 to Agora Microfinance Zambia (AMZ), and the equivalent of USD 582,000 to Promotion et Appui aux Initiatives de Développement Economique du Kivu (PAIDEK) of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Zimbabwe’s IPEC Creates Enabling Framework for Microinsurance

The Insurance and Pension Committee (IPEC) of Zimbabwe recently announced it has issued a regulatory framework for microinsurance products to be distributed through “microfinance institutions, mobile network operators, church organisations and burial societies.”

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Accion Microfinance Bank to Borrow $1.6m from Citibank Nigeria to Support 5k MSEs

Accion Microfinance Bank (Accion Nigeria), the Nigerian partner of US-based nonprofit Accion, recently announced it will borrow NGN 500 million (USD 1.58 million) from Citibank Nigeria, an arm of US-based financial services provider Citigroup, for on-lending to “support the development of approximately 5,000 micro and small enterprises in the country.”

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Free-riding vs Group Insurance; “Responsible” Microfinance Pricing; State of Microinsurance

“The Social Dilemma of Microinsurance: Free-riding in a Framed Field Experiment;” by Wendy Janssens and Berber Kramer; published by Elsevier; March 2016; 15 pages; available at:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167268116300166

This paper analyzes the incentives for individuals to buy health microinsurance while active in borrowing groups. Health issues are consistently among the top reasons people become unable to repay loans.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: COMUBA of Benin, COOPEC SIFA of Togo Borrow $1m from Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GGAMF)

The Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF), a Luxembourg-based provider of financial services to social businesses, recently informed MicroCapital that it has committed to extending the following loans in phases over three years: the equivalent of USD 615,000 to La Coopérative Des Membres Unis Bethel Actions (COMUBA) in Benin and the equivalent of USD 350,000 to Coopérative d’Epargne et de Crédit des Soutien aux Initiatives de Femmes pour l’Autopromotion (COOPEC SIFA) in Togo.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Equator’s Shore Capital Fund III Raises $15m from AfDB to Invest in Financial Inclusion in Africa

The African Development Bank (AfDB), a multilateral institution providing loans and grants to governments and private companies in Africa, recently agreed to invest USD 15 million in Shore Capital Fund III, which is managed by Equator Capital Partners LLC, a US-based “impact” fund manager, with the goal of “expand[ing] access to affordable and responsible financial products and services for the underserved market.”

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: First Merchant Bank Acquiring Opportunity International Bank of Malawi to Boost Microfinance Services

First Merchant Bank, a Malawi-based financial institution, recently announced it will pay an undisclosed price to acquire Opportunity International Bank of Malawi (OIBM), a microbank affiliated with US-based NGO Opportunity International.

SPECIAL REPORT: ADA’s Laura Foschi on Creating Value for SMEs at SAM in Ethiopia, October 2017

MicroCapital: How has SAM (Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance) evolved since its launch four years ago?

Laura Foschi: We held the first edition of SAM in 2013 in Arusha, Tanzania. Our goal was to align the annual meetings of three networks of African microfinance institutions: the Africa Microfinance Network (AFMIN), African Microfinance Transparency (AMT) and the Microfinance African Institutions Network (MAIN). We had conference sessions on the first day, the networks’ general assemblies on the second day and an Investor’s Fair on the third day. During the week, we realized the potential of SAM to become a major African inclusive finance event.

We decided to move the location each time with the aim of engaging both French-speaking and English-speaking regions and organizations. In 2015, we held the conference in Senegal, expanding it to include two days of conference sessions and a broader range of parallel events. We were pleasantly surprised to have our registrations double to over 500 people! Perhaps for the fourth edition we will move to North Africa or Southern Africa.

MC: How did you select Ethiopia for the 2017 SAM?

LF: In order to maintain Ethiopia’s strong economic growth, its large young population will need to achieve what we call “economic inclusion.” In order to address this challenge, the government of Ethiopia has prioritized both microfinance and

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Netherlands’ FMO Issues $344k Convertible Loan to Umati Capital Kenya, Fintech Funding Agricultural Value Chain Actors

The Netherlands Development Finance Company, a government-backed institution also known by its Dutch acronym FMO, recently announced it will finance Umati Capital Kenya, a financial technology (fintech) firm, with a convertible facility in local currency equivalent to USD 344,000.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Central Bank of Egypt Sets Credit Standards for Banks Lending to Microfinance Institutions

The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) recently embarked on an effort strengthen the microfinance industry in the country. Banks have been given a uniform set of standards to use in evaluating requests for funding by microfinance institutions.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Association of Microfinance Institutions of Rwanda Rolls Out “Responsible Finance Through Local Leadership and Learning Program”

In partnership with the US-based, nonprofit Small Enterprise Education and Promotion (SEEP) Network and The MasterCard Foundation of Canada, the Association of Microfinance Institutions of Rwanda (AMIR) recently rolled out the Responsible Finance Through Local Leadership and Learning Program.