MICROFINANCE EVENT: Munich Re Foundation, FMSAR, Microinsurance Network to Host 11th International Microinsurance Conference, November 3-5, 2015, Casablanca, Morocco

Event Name: 11th International Microinsurance Conference 2015: Driving Growth and Sustainability – A Business Case for Microinsurance

Event Date: November 3-5, 2015

Event Location: Hyatt Regency Hotel, Casablanca, Morocco

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation Lends $1.2m in Local Currency to Alidé, COMUBA of Benin

The Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF), a Luxembourg-based provider of financial services to microfinance institutions (MFIs) and other social businesses, recently informed MicroCapital that it has issued initial tranches of the following loans: (1) The equivalent of approximately USD 882,000 in local currency to be disbursed over three years to Alidé, a microfinance institution (MFI); and (2) the equivalent of approximately USD 336,000 in local currency to be disbursed over two years to the credit union La Coopérative Des Membres Unis Bethel Actions (COMUBA).

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Tanzania’s National Microfinance Bank Launches MasterCard Debit Cards

Tanzania’s National Microfinance Bank (NMB) recently launched a range of debit cards including Tanzanite, targeting the mass market; Titanium, targeting the middle class; and World Rewards, targeting affluent customers. These debit cards are branded by MasterCard, a New York-based payments and technology company. As per Ineke Bussemaker, the managing director of NMB, the debit cards were launched to cater to the “evolving needs” of the bank’s customers who were “increasingly seeking faster, more secure and smarter ways to pay.”

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bank of Ghana Doubles Minimum Capital Requirement for Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) to $610k As of 2018

The Bank of Ghana (BoG), which serves as the country’s central bank and is mandated to license, regulate and supervise financial institutions, reportedly announced that it has revised the minimum capital requirement for microfinance institutions (MFIs) from GHS 1 million (approximately USD 305,000) to GHS 2 million (approximately USD 610,000).

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation Loans $1.5m to Première Agence de Microfinance – Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire

The Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF), a Luxembourg-based provider of financial services to microfinance institutions (MFIs) and other social businesses, recently informed MicroCapital that it has issued the following loans: (1) The equivalent of approximately USD 676,000 in local currency over three years to Première Agence de Microfinance au Burkina Faso (PAMF – BF), a microfinance institution (MFI) in Burkina Faso; and (2) the equivalent of approximately USD 845,000 in local currency over three years to Première Agence de Microfinance Côte d’Ivoire (PAMF – CI), an MFI in Ivory Coast [1].

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Mobile Finance Implementation; Alternative Delivery Channels and Technology; “Market Insights for Innovations and Design” (MI4ID) Behavioral Research

“Expanding Access to Finance Through Mobile Payments;” published by the Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA) International and The MasterCard Foundation; June 2015; 12 pages; available at http://www.finca.org/files/2015/06/FINCA-MasterCard-Case-study-2015.pdf

This case study offers suggestions for microfinance institutions (MFIs) implementing mobile technology.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Tanzania’s Yetu Microfinance to Launch Initial Public Offering of $5.36m

Yetu Microfinance (Yetu), an unlicensed microfinance institution (MFI) in Tanzania, recently announced that it will launch an initial public offering (IPO) with the aim of raising TZS 12.5 billion (approximately USD 5.63 million) for expansion and to comply with the country’s regulatory minimum core capital of TZS 5 billion (approximately USD 2.25 million) for licensed MFIs.

SPECIAL REPORT: “More Inclusive Finance for Youth: Scalable and Sustainable Delivery Models for Financial and Non-Financial Services” from e-MFP’s Youth Financial Inclusion Action Group

MicroCapital: What is the motivation for the new study “More Inclusive Finance for Youth: Scalable and Sustainable Delivery Models for Financial and Non-Financial Services,” which was published recently by e-MFP’s Youth Financial Inclusion Action Group?

Severine Deboos: Almost 73 million youth worldwide are looking for work. The UN’s International Labour Office (ILO) considers financial inclusion an important ingredient to fostering youth employment. While young people may need access to services such as savings, credit, insurance and payments, potential employers may need loans to fund apprenticeships.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Insurance Regulatory Authority of Uganda (IRA) to Reduce Minimum Capital Requirement for Microinsurers to $30k, Increase Client Protection Measures

The Insurance Regulatory Authority of Uganda (IRA) recently urged insurance companies in the country to work with microfinance institutions (MFIs) to develop and promote microinsurance products.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Symbiotics Sells Bonds Worth $11m for South Africa’s SA Taxi

Symbiotics, a Switzerland-based investment company that focuses on emerging markets, recently announced that it has completed the second tranche of a bond transaction worth USD 11 million to benefit SA Taxi Development Finance (SA Taxi), a South African leasing company that finances “minibus taxi” operators in the country.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bank of Kigali, Mobile Telecommunications Network (MTN) Rwanda to Offer Mobile Financial Services

Bank of Kigali, a Rwandan commercial bank, and the Rwandan branch of Mobile Telecommunications Network (MTN), a South Africa-based internet and telecommunications company, recently entered into a partnership that will allow MTN subscribers who are also customers of Bank of Kigali to transfer funds between their Bank of Kigali accounts and MTN’s mobile payments platform, Mobile Money.

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) Presents Bridging the Gap: Financial Policy Solutions for Women in Africa, July 22, 2015, Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire

Event Name: Bridging the Gap: Financial Policy Solutions for Women in Africa

Event Date: July 22, 2015

Event Location: Hotel President, Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire

Event Summary: The Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), a Malaysia-based network of financial regulators, will host this one-day conference immediately preceding the 3rd Annual African Mobile Phone Financial Services Policy Initiative (AMPI) Leaders’ Roundtable. The purpose is to create a forum for financial regulators to discuss and increase awareness of policies that are intended to facilitate an increase in financial inclusion for women to help close the “financial inclusion gender gap”[1].

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bank of Ghana Rejects Appeal by Customers of DKM Diamond Micro-Finance Limited; President Intervenes

The Bank of Ghana (BoG), the country’s central bank, recently rejected an appeal by the customers of the Ghana-based savings and microfinance company DKM Diamond Micro-Finance Limited (DKM) who had requested their cash deposits and matured investments with DKM to be paid out. BoG rejected the appeal due to the investigation into DKM’s practices being pending. BoG argued that it had to establish whether the MFI had violated the Ghanaian banking act before it allowed access to funds held by DKM.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: FINCA Tanzania Converts from Microfinance Institution (MFI) to Commercial Bank; Accepts Deposits

The Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA) Tanzania, an affiliate of the US-based microfinance network FINCA International, has converted into a commercial bank that will be able to accept deposits from the public using the name FINCA Microfinance Bank.

SPECIAL REPORT: ACRE Africa, Bima, Microfact, Tech-Innov, UTM, Others Report on New Products for Rural Areas at Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance (SAM) in Dakar, Senegal

As Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance (SAM) began to draw to a close, a range of service providers described their new products and services at an all-day Innovation Fair.

Solenn Marquette of Bima, a Sweden-based insurer operating in 13 developing countries, explained her firm’s strategy for using mobile phones to sell insurance. Although building branches is too expensive, “we still put education teams on ground” to market products. One such product is Tigo Hospitalization, which is offered in Senegal starting at CFA 200 (USD 0.40) per month for up to CFA 30,000 (USD 50) in coverage.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: IFC, Ecobank to Share Risk on $110m in Loans for Small, Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in West, Central Africa

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group; and Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (Ecobank), a commercial bank based in Lome, Togo, with operations in 36 African countries, recently announced the launch of a risk-sharing credit facility in the amount of USD 110 million.

SPECIAL REPORT: Boosting Rural Finance via Collaboration Among AFMIN, AMT Forum, AFRACA, MAIN

Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance (SAM) is a production of four African microfinance networks in collaboration with Luxembourgish NGO ADA. As this is only the second SAM, a session was held this week on how the networks can expand their collaboration to increase their effectiveness in promoting rural finance on the continent.

Davy Serge Azakpame, the CEO of the Benin-based African Microfinance Network, proposed “creat[ing] an advocacy group to pressure government to boost funding for rural areas.”