Category: Africa

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


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Acumen, Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership, Unilever Partner to Support Smallholder Farmers through Enhanced Livelihoods Investment Initiative (ELII) in Africa, South Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean

The US-based non-profit venture fund Acumen, along with the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership, an initiative of US-based Clinton Foundation, and the British-Dutch multinational consumer goods company Unilever recently partnered to launch a three-year, minimum USD 10 million Enhanced Livelihoods Investment Initiative (ELII) that aims to boost the economic development of approximately 300,000 smallholder farmers in Africa, South Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean [1]. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC) to Provide $4.1m Risk Sharing Facility to Cameroonian Bank Banque Internationale du Cameroun pour l’Épargne et le Crédit (BICEC) for Agricultural Lending

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group, recently signed an agreement with Banque Internationale du Cameroun pour l’Épargne et le Crédit (BICEC), a Cameroonian Bank, to provide BICEC with a CFA 2.5 billion (USD 4.1 million) “risk sharing facility… to support its lending activities to agriculture cooperatives active in the productions of cassava, maize and sorghum” [1]. Continue reading


MICROFINANCE EVENT: Mobile Money and Digital Payments Africa Conference and Workshop, May 19-21, 2015, Johannesburg, South Africa

Event Name: Mobile Money and Digital Payments Africa

Event Date: May 19-21, 2015

Event Location: Hyatt Regency Hotel, Johannesburg, South Africa

Summary of Event: The aim of the event is to bring together sector stakeholders in an effort to strengthen mobile money payment systems and businesses in Africa. The two conference days will feature panel discussions and debates focused on developing financial services and other mobile products for un- and underbanked people, recent trends in mobile money, challenges in developing cashless payment systems in Africa and methods for leveraging social payments to improve financial service offerings for people left out of the traditional banking system. The workshop will focus on discussing strategies for retailers to gain authorization to sell mobile money and digital payment services in Europe. Continue reading


SPECIAL REPORT: Save the Date: African Microfinance Week (Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance), June 29 – July 3, 2015, Dakar, Senegal

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 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.

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: United Nations’ International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Grants $1.5m to Développement international Desjardins (DID) for Microfinance Operations in Central, West Africa

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), an agency of the United Nations, has chosen to prolong the mandate originally given in 2013 to Développement international Desjardins (DID), a nonprofit member of the Canada-based Desjardins Group, with a grant of USD 561,000 for microcredit in Cameroon. Continue reading


MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Maize Insurance in Burkina Faso, Risks to Microfinance in Pakistan, Claims Analysis in Health Microinsurance

“Loan Protection for Maize Farmers in Burkina Faso;” by Barbara Magnoni and Danielle Sobol; published by The MicroInsurance Centre; 2014; 13 pages; available at

This paper presents the findings of a study focusing on the impact of droughts, specifically the costs to maize farmers in Burkina Faso. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) Increases Presence in Cameroon, Indonesia with $22m Equity Investment in Bank Mayora, Advisory Agreement with Advans Cameroun

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group focused on private sector development, recently made an equity investment of USD 22 million in Indonesia-based Bank Mayora to support its services for micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Nigeria’s Grooming Centre to Issue Microloans on MasterCard Pre-Paid Cards

The Grooming Centre, a nonprofit provider of loans and deposit services to women in Nigeria for micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), has partnered with MasterCard, a US-based payments company, to replace the NGO’s cash- and check-based loan disbursals with prepaid MasterCard-branded payment cards. Continue reading