Category: Africa

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to Loan $7m to Enda Inter-Arabe for On-Lending to Micro-, Small Enterprises (MSEs) in Tunisia

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based multilateral financial institution, is lending TND 11 million (USD 7 million) to Enda Inter-Arabe, a Tunisian financial services provider and arm of Senegal-based non-governmental organization Enda Third-World. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bank of Ghana Licenses 394 Microfinance Institutions (MFIs), Donates Equipment to Trade Associations

The Bank of Ghana, the country’s central banking authority, has issued licenses to 394 microfinance institutions (MFIs), including 344 classified as microfinance companies, 45 as money-lending companies and five as financial non-governmental organizations. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: CGAP Branchless Banking Challenge Fund for West Africa Accepting Entries through March 31, 2014

CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), a US-based nonprofit policy and research center that aims to facilitate the provision of financial access to poor people, is accepting applications for the Branchless Banking Challenge Fund, a contest to encourage development of innovative solutions to challenges faced by the branchless banking market in West Africa. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Allocates 60% of $1.3b Micro-, Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises Development Fund to Promote Women’s Empowerment, Gender Equality

In a publication outlining guidelines for the operation of its Micro-, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the country’s central banking authority, included a mandate to allocate 60 percent of the fund, or NGN 132 billion (USD 802 million), for on-lending to women-owned enterprises in an effort to promote the empowerment of women and to reduce gender inequality. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Tigo Introduces Cross-border Mobile Money Transfer Service With Currency Conversion Serving Rwanda, Tanzania

Millicom International Cellular, a Luxembourg-based telecommunications company also known as Tigo, recently introduced a cross-border mobile money transfer service between Rwanda and Tanzania that includes currency conversion. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe (CBZ) Holdings to Develop Low-Cost Housing in Zimbabwe

Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe (CBZ) Holdings, a Zimbabwe-based financial services conglomerate, recently announced that it will begin building low-cost houses in June 2014 on some of the land it owns, which is valued at a total of USD 66.7 million, with the aim of alleviating the shortage of housing facilities in Zimbabwe. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Airtel Zambia to Include Life Insurance Coverage In Mobile Subscriber Plans

Airtel Zambia, a subsidiary of Indian telecommunications company Airtel, in partnership with Zambian insurance company Focus General Insurance and UK-based microinsurer MicroEnsure, is now including free life insurance coverage to mobile subscribers who pay ZMW 10 (USD 1.77) or more per month for their phone service. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Limits Exclusive Agreements Between Telecommunications Providers, Mobile Money Agents

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), the country’s central bank, has issued a directive limiting telecommunications providers’ ability to enter into exclusive service agreements with mobile money agents. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC), MobiPay to Launch “MTC Money” in Namibia

Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC), a Namibia-based mobile network operator controlled by the government-owned Namibia Post and Telecommunications Holdings and privately-owned Portugal Telecom, reportedly has partnered with the Bank of Namibia’s mobile payment service MobiPay to launch MTC Money. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Public Investment Corporation of South Africa Among Those Demanding Resignation of Thierry Tanoh, CEO of Togo-Based EcoBank

Mr Thierry Tanoh, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Togo-based EcoBank Transnational Incorporated (EcoBank), has been called to step down due to allegations of being “unfit to lead” the bank [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Gives Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) 6 Years to Plan for Higher Capitalization Requirements

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), the country’s central bank, has issued new capitalization requirements for money-lending bodies that will become effective in December 2020, increasing the minimum capital required to USD 10 million for deposit-taking microfinance institutions (MFIs) and USD 50,000 for credit-only MFIs. Continue reading

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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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