Category: Africa

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Transition Fund Grants $11m to Moroccan Youth Microentrepreneurship Projects

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Transition Fund, a financial intermediary fund established by the US-based World Bank in 2012 that provides grants to help countries implement social reforms, has sponsored a total of USD 11 million in grants for two projects that will aim to assist approximately 5,000 Moroccan youths with starting their own businesses and micro-enterprises [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Rwanda’s Bank of Kigali Announces New ‘mVisa’ Mobile Banking Service

The Bank of Kigali (BK), a commercial bank based in the Rwandan capital of Kigali, reportedly has announced the development of a new mobile banking product, ‘mVisa’, that is expected to allow rural populations to gain access to banking services that historically have been inaccessible to rural Rwandans. According to a statement attributed to Lawson Naibo, the chief operations officer of BK, the service will aim to allow rural clients to easily access their bank account through their mobile phone and encourage higher banking participation rates in rural Rwandan communities where bank branches are often not present. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: WorldRemit Launches Direct Worldwide Money Transfer Service through Telesom’s Zaad Service

WorldRemit Limited, a UK-based online money transfer service that enables customers to send remittances to family and friends in approximately 100 receiving countries, reportedly has partnered with Somaliland-based communications company Telesom’s Zaad, a mobile banking service that allows customers to use their mobile phones for money transfers and purchases, to launch a mobile money transfer program. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Money Lenders Association of Ghana Signs Memorandum of Understanding to Provide Members with Microinsurance Products

The Money Lenders Association of Ghana (MLAG), an umbrella organization for 350 money-lending organizations in the country, and Star Microinsurance Services Limited, a company that provides microinsurance products to low-income households in Ghana, reportedly have signed a memorandum of understanding to provide MLAG’s clients with microinsurance products, including a funeral policy, micro-healthcare policy and a child education policy [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMB), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Propose Unified Software System for Microfinance Banks (MFB) in Nigeria

The National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMB), a trade group of 820 microfinance banks (MFBs) in Nigeria, recently partnered with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the country’s main financial regulator, to propose a unified software system for all of NAMB’s member institutions. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Association of Microfinance Institutions in Rwanda (AMIR), Child Savings International (Aflatoun), United Kingdom’s Department for International Development Inaugurate Youth Educational Program in Rwanda

The Association of Microfinance Institutions in Rwanda (AMIR), an umbrella organization for Rwandan microfinance institutions (MFIs) and related organizations, recently partnered with Child Savings International (referred to as Aflatoun), a Netherlands-based nonprofit, and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (UKDID) to launch an educational program in Rwanda that will teach entrepreneurial, savings and financial skills to youth. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Tanzania Postal Bank (TPB), World Savings Banks Institute (WSBI), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to Launch “TPB Popote” to Reach Unbanked Tanzanians

The Tanzania Postal Bank (TPB), a Tanzania-based financial services organization, recently partnered with the World Savings Banks Institute (WSBI), a Switzerland-based international banking association, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), a US-based nonprofit organization, to launch a new mobile banking service called “TPB Popote” that aims to increase the financial inclusion of low-income people in rural regions of Tanzania. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: African Insurance Organization (AIO) Inaugurates Microinsurance Committee

The African Insurance Organization (AIO), a Cameroon-based nonprofit that seeks to promote intra-African cooperation in developing Africa’s insurance and reinsurance industry, recently inaugurated a Microinsurance Committee to oversee the growth of microinsurance on the continent. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Ecobank, Lonestar Cell MTN Launch “Mobile Money School Fees Payment Service” in Liberia

Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), a pan-African banking conglomerate that operates in 33 African countries, and Lonestar Cell Mobile Telecommunications Network (MTN), a member of the multinational telecommunications company MTN Group that has services in 21 countries in Africa, Europe and Middle East, reportedly have launched a partnership in Liberia that will alleviate the costs of waiting to pay for students’ school fees [1]. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “From Blueprint to Scale: The Case for Philanthropy in Impact Investing;” by Harvey Koh, Ashish Karamchandani and Robert Katz; Published by Monitor Group and Acumen Fund

By Harvey Koh, Ashish Karamchandani and Robert Katz; published by Monitor Group and the Acumen Fund; April 2012; 68 pages; available at: http://www.mim.monitor.com/downloads/Blueprint_To_Scale/From%20Blueprint%20to%20Scale%20-%20Case%20for%20Philanthropy%20in%20Impact%20Investing_Full%20report.pdf Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Government of Cameroon Partners with United Nations Development Program (UNDP), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) To Consolidate Microfinance Sector

The government of Cameroon recently partnered with three agencies of the United Nations to consolidate the country’s microfinance sector by increasing governmental regulations and mergers of microfinance institutions (MFIs). Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Investment Bank (EIB) Loans $92m to National Microfinance Bank (NMB) of Tanzania for Micro-, Small, Medium-sized Enterprises

The Luxembourg-based European Investment Bank (EIB), the long-term lending bank of the European Union (EU), recently loaned EUR 70 million (USD 92.4 million) to the National Microfinance Bank (NMB), a Tanzanian microfinance institution (MFI) that is 30-percent government-owned to support micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Tanzania. The transaction is a long-term loan to NMB that will enable NMB to provide medium-term loans to MSMEs. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: African Development Bank (AfDB) Loans $17m to Société Nigérienne de Banque (Sonibank) of Niger to Support Private Sector

African Development Bank (AfDB), a multilateral institution that provides loans and grants to governments and private companies in Africa, recently approved a credit line in the amount of EUR 13 million (USD 17 million) to Société Nigérienne de Banque (Sonibank), a commercial bank in Niger. Continue reading

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