MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Silatech Develops Crowdfunding Website Narwi for Shariah-Compliant Microfinance in Middle East, North Africa

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.

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Morocco’s Microfinance Market; Trends in Funding Financial Inclusion; Growth Projections in Islamic Microfinance

“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

SPECIAL REPORT: Mohamed Attanda on African Microfinance Week (Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance, SAM), Dakar, Senegal, June 29 – July 3, 2015

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?

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Canada to Contribute $10m to International Organization of La Francophonie to Promote Entrepreneurship in Sub-Saharan Africa

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.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: OPIC, Calvert, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, EIB Invest $12m in Participatory Microfinance Group for Africa (PAMIGA) to Support Access to Solar Power, Irrigation in Rural 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 [1].

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Labour Office’s (ILO’s) Impact Insurance Facility, Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) Seek to Stimulate Innovation in Microinsurance in Sub-Saharan 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.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: C-Quadrat Asset Management’s Vision Microfinance Funds Issue $6m in Credits to Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in Armenia, Colombia, Georgia, Mongolia, Nigeria, Tajikistan and Paraguay

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.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Développement international Desjardins (DiD) Opens Fifth Entrepreneur Financial Center to Offer Microcredit in Tunisia

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).

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Global Findex Database 2014; PEP Report on Female Entrepreneurs in Nigeria; YouthSave Research Report 2015

“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.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor) Seeks Partners for Customer-Centric Financial Services Project

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.

SPECIAL REPORT: Frédéric Ruaz on Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance (SAM, African Microfinance Week), June 29 – July 3, 2015, Dakar, Senegal

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.

MICROCAPITAL PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Improving the Wellbeing of the Poorest of the Poor; Finance in Motion’s Impact Investment Report; Investing in Africa’s Small, Growing Businesses

“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.”

MICROFINANCE EVENT: AITEC Banking & Mobile Money Lagos 2015, July 28 – 29, 2015, Lagos, Nigeria

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.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Oradian Raises Seed Funding to Scale its Instafin Banking Software Platform Across West Africa

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.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC) to Loan $15m to Chase Bank Kenya, Advise on Financial Access for Women Entrepreneurs

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 [1].