Silatech, a Qatar-based social enterprise aiming to increase employment and entrepreneurship among youth in the Middle East and North Africa, recently announced the development of Narwi, a nonprofit crowdfunding platform that will support microentrepreneurs via Islamic charitable giving. The platform is scheduled to be launched in late June 2015.
“Ending the Microfinance Crisis in Morocco: Acting early, acting right;” published by the International Financial Corporation in partnership with the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Development; the Danish International Development Agency; Japan; Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs; and UKaid; October 2014; available at http://www.ifc.org/wps/wcm/connect/5e1e5a0047850bdba0d4f5299ede9589/IFC+Morocco+MicroFinance+Crisis+report.English.pdf?MOD=AJPERES
MicroCapital: The agenda of Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance (SAM) emphasizes improving services in rural areas; is there something in that realm that you would like to highlight?
Mohamed Attanda: Yes, we have noted for the past several years that rural areas have not been well served by traditional financial institutions, so there has been a need for microfinance institutions to focus on rural areas and family farms. How microfinance institutions can deal with this problem is a big question. The large size of African Microfinance Week gives us more opportunities to work together to innovate in rural finance in Africa.
MC: Several networks have collaborated to create SAM. What is the advantage in collocating their general assemblies in conjunction with a conference?
The International Organization of La Francophonie (IOF), a Paris-based organization of 80 French-speaking countries, and the government of Canada recently announced an agreement under which Canada would contribute approximately USD 10 million to IOF to promote employment for women and youth through entrepreneurship in francophone Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), a development finance institution backed by the US government, and the Calvert Foundation, a US-based nonprofit community development financial institution, recently signed agreements to loan USD 6.25 million to Pamiga Finance S.A. (PFSA) to help it spread access to solar energy and micro-irrigation systems in rural Africa .
The Impact Insurance Facility of the UN’s International Labour Office (ILO) and the French government’s Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) recently signed a three-year partnership seeking to strengthen the resilience of middle-income workers in the informal sector in Sub-Saharan Africa. Financial details of this partnership have not been reported.
BitPesa, a Kenyan startup that uses bitcoin to offer mobile phone-based remittances at a fee of 3-percent, has expanded its business model to Tanzania.
During May 2015, Viennese asset manager C-Quadrat Asset Management USD 6 million worth of credits via the two Vision Microfinance funds to unspecified microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Armenia, Colombia, Georgia, Mongolia, Nigeria, Tajikistan and Paraguay. Of this total, C-Quadrat Asset Management invested USD 500,000 in the microfinance institution based in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Founded in 2001, this institution targets micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and provides services to approximately 3,200 clients.
Développement international Desjardins (DiD), a Canadian nonprofit supporting the community finance sector in emerging economies, has officially opened the Centre financier financial aux entrepreneurs de Tunisie, which is known in English as the Entrepreneur Financial Center of Tunisia (EFC Tunisia).
“The Global Findex Database 2014: Measuring Financial Inclusion Around the World;” by Asli Demirguc-Kunt, Leora Klapper, Dorothe Singer and Peter Van Oudheusden; published by the World Bank; April 2015; 88 pages; available at http://www.worldbank.org/en/programs/globalfindex
The World Bank’s Global Findex Database 2014 indicates that between 2011 and 2014, 700 million people became accountholders for the first time at banks, via other financial institutions and with mobile money service providers, reducing the number of unbanked individuals by 20 percent.
CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), a US-based nonprofit policy and research center devoted to worldwide growth of financial access, is searching for financial service providers with whom to partner to increase customer centricity within the providers’ systems.
MicroCapital: What can attendees expect to see at Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance (SAM)?
Frédéric Ruaz: You will find most of the sessions involve managers of several types of organizations: microfinance institutions (MFIs), public entities and private funds. In addition to fostering debate, we aim SAM to bridge practitioners with experts, South with North, and even small MFIs with large MFIs. Indeed, SAM is the largest microfinance meeting place in Africa.
MC: Is there a session that you think attendees may find particularly valuable?
FR: That is a tough question, as SAM offers such a diversity of panels. On Wednesday, July 1, the second session will focus mostly on social entrepreneurship.
“A multifaceted program causes lasting progress for the very poor: Evidence from six countries;” published by American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2015-05, available at http://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/97047
This study reports that a multifaceted “graduation” program generated improvements in the wellbeing of the “poorest of the poor.”
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.
The Jamii Bora Bank of Kenya announced recently that it has shifted its focus to serving small and medium- sized enterprises (SMEs) from advancing microfinance.
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.
SimbaPay, a UK-based digital money transfer service, reportedly has announced that it has begun offering transfers to Nigeria.
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 .