Category: Africa

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Central Bank of Nigeria Announces Closure of 83 Microfinance Banks (MFBs), Denies Shutdown of Additional 600 MFBs

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the country’s central banking authority, has rescinded the licenses of 83 microfinance banks (MFBs) in the country [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Safaricom, Britam, Changmka Microinsurance to Offer Mobile Health Insurance in Kenya

Safaricom, a telecommunications provider in Kenya, reportedly has announced that it will be partnering with Britam, a Kenya-based investment firm, and Changmka Microinsurance, a Kenyan health insurance provider to offer new health microinsurance services in Kenya. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Trade Union “Mobile Money Transfer Agents Association of Zimbabwe” Formed

The Mobile Money Transfer Agents Association of Zimbabwe (MMTAAZ), a trade union representing third-party handlers of retail e-money transactions, reportedly has been formed by co-directors Francis Chinjekure and Thomas Muserepwa to address the concerns of contractors to Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, a subsidiary of South Africa-based telecommunications provider Econet Wireless Group; Telecel Zimbabwe, a joint venture of Egypt-based telecommunications provider Global Telecom Holding and Zimbabwean business consortium Empowerment Corporation; and NetOne, a mobile services provider owned by the government of Zimbabwe. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Inclusix Index of Financial Inclusion in India; Obstacles to Access in Microinsurance; Microfinance in Kenya

“CRISIL Inclusix: An index to measure India’s progress on Financial Inclusion;” published by Credit Rating Information Services of India Limited (CRISIL); June 2013; 101 pages; available at http://crisil.com/pdf/corporate/CRISIL-Inclusix.pdf

Based on data from 2009 through 2011, this report gives an overview of the findings of the CRISIL Inclusix index, an analytical tool designed by Credit Rating Information Services of India Limited (CRISIL) to measure progress in financial inclusion in India at the national, regional, state and district levels. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Telecel Zimbabwe Introduces Debit Cards, International Remittances Via Telecash Mobile Banking Service

Telecel Zimbabwe, a telecommunications company affiliated with Egypt-based Global Telecom Holding, has begun offering the Telecash mobile money service in conjunction with a debit card that may be used to pay for services and conduct bank transactions at point-of-sale (POS) devices located in 4,500 retail stores in the country. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MFX Solutions, Fonds pour l’Inclusion Financière en République Démocratique Congo to Provide Technical Assistance to Banks, Microfinance Institutions (MFIs)

MFX Solutions, a US-based company that provides currency hedging solutions for microfinance institutions (MFIs) and microfinance investment vehicles (MIVs), recently announced that it has entered into a two-year technical assistance partnership with Fonds pour l’inclusion financière en république démocratique Congo, a nonprofit microlending organization in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that is known by its English acronym FPM, in an effort to help financial institutions better manage risks. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Global Index Insurance Facility to Donate $4m to Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture in Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the US-based World Bank Group’s private investment arm, has approved two grants totaling USD 3.9 million to Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture, a Swiss nonprofit organization, to provide index-based weather insurance to rural farmers in Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Nigerian Diamond Bank Partners with African Guarantee Fund to Lend $25m to Micro-, Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs)

African Guarantee Fund (AGF), a Kenya-based organization that aims to increase financial inclusion by underwriting commercial bank lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Africa, reportedly has agreed to guarantee 50 percent of USD 25 million by Diamond Bank Public Limited Company (PLC), a Nigerian commercial bank, via its affiliate institutions in Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo to micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bank of Uganda Issues Mobile Money Guidelines Intended to Prevent Fraud, Increase Efficiency

The Bank of Uganda (BoU), the country’s central bank, has issued a set of mobile money guidelines aimed at regulating mobile money services in the country [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: EcoBank to Offer Mastercard in 23 African Countries

MasterCard Incorporated, a US-based payments and technology company with operations in 210 countries and territories, reportedly has signed a deal with EcoBank Transnational Incorporated, a Togo-based bank with operations in 20 African countries, to provide MasterCard payments cards to EcoBank’s customers in 23 countries in Africa. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: responsAbility Loans $20m to Microlender Enda Inter-Arabe of Tunisia

ResponsAbility Investments, a Swiss investor in microfinance and other sectors, recently notified MicroCapital that it has disbursed a loan of EUR 15 million (USD 20.4 million) to Enda Inter-Arabe, a Tunisian financial services provider that is also an arm of Senegal-based non-governmental organization Enda Third-World [1]. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Microcredit Interest Rate Determinants; Mobile Phones and Microinsurance; Health Financing Through Gifts and Remittances in Kenya

“Microcredit Interest Rates and Their Determinants 2004-2011;” by Richard Rosenberg, Scott Gaul, William Ford and Olga Tomilova; published by CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor); June 2013; 32 pages; available at http://www.cgap.org/sites/default/files/Forum-Microcredit-Interest-Rates-and-Their-Determinants-June-2013_1.pdf

This study explores the factors affecting the determination of interest rates that microfinance institutions (MFIs) charge their customers by analyzing financial data reported from 2004 to 2011 by MFIs to the Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX), a US-based nonprofit data provider. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC) Loans $4m to Grooming Centre in Effort to to Reach 780k Nigerian Microenterprises

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group, recently announced that it has committed to loan NGN 650 million (USD 4 million) to Grooming Centre, a Nigerian microfinance institution (MFI), to assist in expanding its reach to a total of 780,000 existing small businesses by 2018, including by expanding its coverage in rural areas of the country. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC) Loans $20m to Attawfiq Micro-Finance for Microlending in Morocco

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a US-based development finance institution and a member of the US-based World Bank Group, recently loaned USD 20 million to Attawfiq Micro-Finance, a nonprofit microfinance institution (MFI) based in Casablanca, Morocco, for onlending to microenterprises in an effort to further Morocco’s economic development. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: African Women Invited to Apply for MasterCard Foundation Scholarships for Sustainable Microenterprise and Development Program (SMDP) in Ghana by February 7, 2014

MasterCard Foundation, a Canadian organization founded by the US-based payments firm MasterCard, is offering an undisclosed number of scholarships, ranging from USD 1,000 to USD 4,500, for women in Africa who have at least two years of work experience in the microenterprise development field to attend the Sustainable Microenterprise and Development Program (SMDP), an educational workshop that will be held in the Accra, Ghana, from March 10-21, 2014. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Triodos Investment Management Loans $1m each to Advans Banque Congo, Microfinance Institution (MFI) Vitas Jordan

Triodos Investment Management, a subsidiary of Netherlands-based Triodos Bank, reportedly has loaned USD 1 million to Advans Banque Congo, a commercial bank, and JOD 705,000 (USD 1 million) to Amman-based microfinance institution (MFI) Vitas Jordan. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to Loan $64.8m to Banque Tuniso-Kowetienne of Tunisia for On-lending to Micro-, Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs), Trade Financing

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based multilateral development bank, recently announced that it will extend a loan of EUR 40 million (USD 54.8 million) to Banque Tuniso-Kowetienne (BTK), a Tunisia-based commercial bank. Continue reading

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