MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Deposit Protection Corporation Arranging Sale of MicroKing, Microfinance Subsidiary of AfrAsia Zimbabwe

The Zimbabwean Deposit Protection Corporation (DPC), recently announced that it is seeking a buyer for MicroKing Finance Limited, a microfinance subsidiary of AfrAsia Zimbabwe Holdings, which is domiciled in Mauritius.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda Expanding One Area Network Agreement to Allow Cross-Border Mobile Money Transfers

The governments of Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda, which established One Area Network Agreement (OANA) in January to improve cross-border telecommunications, are seeking to expand its scope to allow mobile money transfers among the countries.

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.

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].

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.

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. 

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.

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. 

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].

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].

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.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: UAE’s Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development Activates $200m Loan to Egyptian Government for Microfinance

The Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, which is backed by the government of the emirate of Abu Dhabi, recently announced that its November 2014 agreement to loan USD 200 million to the government of Egypt has been activated.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: UAE’s Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development Activates $200m Loan to Egyptian Government for Microfinance

The Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, which is backed by the government of the emirate of Abu Dhabi, recently announced that its November 2014 agreement to loan USD 200 million to the government of Egypt has been activated.

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.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Government of Egypt, MasterCard to Link National ID Card to Mobile Money Services, Extending Financial Services to “54m” Egyptians

MasterCard, a US-based payments company, and the Egyptian government have collaborated to link identification cards to the previously existing mobile money platform in the country.