Category: Africa

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Considering $100m in Loans for National Bank of Egypt for Micro-, Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises; Trade Finance

The UK-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) recently revealed the pending approval of a finance facility of up to USD 100 million for the National Bank of Egypt (NBE), which is wholly owned by the Egyptian government. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “Final Impact Evaluation of the ‘Saving for Change’ Program in Mali, 2009-2012;” by the Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology at the University of Arizona and Innovations for Poverty Action; published by Oxfam America and Freedom from Hunger

By the Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology at the University of Arizona and Innovations for Poverty Action, published by Oxfam America and Freedom from Hunger, April 2013, 216 pages, available at: https://www.freedomfromhunger.org/sites/default/files/SavingforChangeMaliResearchFullReportMay2013.pdf

This study was funded by Freedom from Hunger, a US-based non-governmental organization that works to alleviate hunger in 19 countries, and Oxfam America, a member of Oxfam International that seeks to reduce poverty worldwide. The study evaluated the impacts of Saving for Change (SfC), a savings-group (SG) program that was co-created in 2005 by Freedom from Hunger, Oxfam America and the Stromme Foundation, a Norway-based international development organization. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Caterpillar Foundation Donates $19m to Opportunity International to Reach 17m People in Africa, Asia and Latin America

Opportunity International, a US-based nonprofit organization that provides financial services to poor people in 24 countries, recently announced that Caterpillar Foundation, the philanthropic arm of US-based equipment manufacturer Caterpillar Inc., has granted Opportunity two multi-year donations totaling USD 19.2 million [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Sanad Fund for MSME to Loan $2m to Al Majmoua of Lebanon for Microenterprises

The Sanad Fund for MSME (micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises), an initiative that invests in financial institutions in the Middle East and North Africa, recently agreed to grant a senior loan facility of USD 2 million to Al Majmoua, a Lebanese nongovernmental organization (NGO) that lends to microenterprises. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) Receives $2.45m from UN’s MicroLead for Liberia Credit Union National Association

The World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), a US-based association of credit union trade groups in 54 countries, recently received a four-year, USD 2.45 million grant from the United Nations Capital Development Fund’s (UNCDF’s) MicroLead program that it will direct to its new member organization, the Liberia Credit Union National Association (LCUNA), a network of 300 credit unions in Liberia that serve 36,000 individuals. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC), European Investment Bank (EIB), Agence Française de Développement (AFD), European Commission Establish $380m Middle East, North Africa Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises Facility

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, recently announced that it is partnering with the European Investment Bank (EIB), the long-term lending bank of the European Union (EU); Agence Française de Développement (AFD), France’s international development agency; and the European Commission, the legislative body of the EU, via the Neighborhood Investment Facility (NIF), to establish a USD 380 million financing facility for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: UT Bank Ghana Receives $20m Credit Line from African Development Bank to Support Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB), a multilateral institution that provides loans and grants to governments and private companies in Africa, recently approved a 3.5-year line of credit in the amount of USD 20 million to UT Bank Ghana Limited (UT Bank), a commercial bank based in Ghana with 26 branches in Ghana and an unavailable number of subsidiary branches in West Africa and Europe. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Tigo Ghana, EB Accion, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, USAID to Help Women Become Mobile Money Agents

The Ghanaian branch of Luxembourg-based telecommunication firm Millicom International Cellular, which is also known as Tigo and has operations in 15 African and Latin American countries; EB Accion, a Ghana-based microfinance institution (MFI) affiliated with Togo-based Ecobank Group and US-based non-governmental organization (NGO) Accion; Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, a London-based charity focused on technology and access to finance; and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), a government agency that provides international economic and humanitarian assistance, reportedly have partnered on a mobile money project that is expected to involve hundreds of women in Ghana. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Equity Bank, Google Announce BebaPay Card for Paying Bus Fares in Kenya

In partnership with Google, a US-based provider of technology products and services, Equity Bank, a private bank based in Kenya, has announced that the bank will be offering a new cashless payment card system called BebaPay, which is expected to enable users to pay bus fares without the use of cash. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC), Advans Ghana to Expand Business Edge Training Program to Ghana

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group, has formed an agreement with Advans Ghana Savings and Loans, a non-bank financial institution and member of Luxembourg’s Advans Group, to improve access to the Business Edge training program in Ghana. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Financing Africa, Social Performance Indicators for Microinsurance, Segmentation of Agricultural Households

“Financing Africa Through the Crisis and Beyond;” by Thorsten Beck, Samuel Munzele Maimbo, Issa Faye and Thouraya Triki; published by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), World Bank Group, African Development Bank; 2013; 322 pages; available at: http://www.afdb.org/fileadmin/uploads/afdb/Documents/Publications/Financing%20Africa%20Through%20the%20Crisis%20and%20Beyond.pdf

This book presents a review of trends in Africa’s financial sector in the context of Africa’s past economic development trends and broader historical background. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Kenya-based Gulf African Bank, African Guarantee Fund Partner to Lend $1.2m to Small, Medium-Sized Businesses

The African Guarantee Fund (AGF), a Kenya-based organization backed by the African Development Bank (AfDB) that aims to increase financial access in Africa by underwriting commercial bank lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), reportedly has agreed to guarantee an unspecified portion of KES 100 million (USD 1.2 million) to be loaned by Gulf African Bank (GAB), a Kenya-based bank offering Shari’ah-compliant products and services, to SMEs in Kenya. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Star Microinsurance Company of Ghana Pays Insurance Claims to Kantamanto Fire Victims through MicroEnsure, Advans Ghana

Ghana-based Star Microinsurance Company Limited reportedly has paid some of the victims of the Kantamanto and Agbogbloshie markets fire outbreak in the Ghanian city of Accra a total insurance claim of GHS 115,000 (USD 57,629) through its partners MicroEnsure Ghana, an insurance intermediary and subsidiary of US-based nonprofit Opportunity International, and Advans Ghana Savings and Loans, a non-bank financial institution that focuses on micro enterprise. Continue reading

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