Category: Trends/Challenges

MICROFINANCE EVENT: The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Liechtenstein Development Service (LDS), CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor) and The Ford Foundation Co-host the Social Performance Task Force (SPTF) 2010 Annual Meeting in Bern, Switzerland, June 28 – July 2, 2010

Event Name: Social Performance Task Force (SPTF) 2010 Annual Meeting

Event Date: June 28 – July 2, 2010

Event Location: Kursaal Bern Congress and Culture Centre, Bern, Switzerland

Event Website:

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Plan for New Law to Regulate Microfinance Sector in Uganda Announced

A new law to regulate the microfinance sector in Uganda is expected before the reading of the 2010/2011 budget in June [1]. The plan was announced by Ruth Nankabirwa, the microfinance state minister at the third Financial Inclusion Advisors Conference recently hosted in the capital, Kampala. According to Ms. Nankabirwa, membership in the microfinance sector has grown from 644,318 in 2008 to 1,154,715 in 2009. A large proportion of funds within the sector are unregulated – there are over 1,340 microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Uganda that are not regulated. Ms. Nankabirwa argues that regulating the microfinance sector will increase consumer confidence and encourage more people to use its services. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: The National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMB) to Partner with Universities to Facilitate Capacity Building in Nigerian Microfinance Sector

Chief Jethro Akun, the Vice President of the National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMB) in Nigeria, has announced plans to partner with the National University Commission (NUC), a parastatal under the Federal Ministry of Education established in 1962, to facilitate the offering of courses in microfinance banking at the university level. According to Mr. Akun, the partnership is necessary as the microfinance sector needs more “manpower” to achieve growth in the sector. He also believes that courses in microfinance banking will help to allay many of the fears of the general public over the viability of microfinance banks [1]. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Rwandan Microfinance Institution Urwego Opportunity Bank (UOB) Reports Lending Fosters Social Reconciliation

Radio Netherlands Worldwide recently reported that microfinance in Rwanda is “booming” and the Netherlands is contributing to this “success” [1]. One of the potential effects of the rise of microfinance in Rwanda is social reconciliation. Faustin Zihiga, the Chief Operating Officer of Urwego Opportunity Bank (UOB) of Rwanda, the largest microfinance bank in Rwanda among those reporting to the Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX Market), suggests that in group-lending programs, survivors of the genocide mix in the same groups as perpetrators of the genocide. They begin to associate themselves by their group, not by their ethnic background. According to Zihiga, the social change is often even more visible than the economic change that microfinance brings about [3]. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Students Make Commitments to Microfinance At Third Annual Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) Meeting in Miami, Florida

At the third annual Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) meeting which recently took place at the University of Miami, Florida, students, universities and national youth organizations made commitments to implement solutions to global challenges worth approximately USD 42 million; several of the commitments are aimed at advancing microfinance efforts around the world. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Financing Facility for Remittances (FFR) Announces Call for Proposals 2010

The International Fund for Agricultural Development’s (IFAD’s) Financing Facility for Remittances (FFR), a USD 18 million fund that seeks to reduce poverty by leveraging remittances for development in rural areas of developing countries, recently announced its Call for Proposals 2010. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Current and Former CEOs of ACCION International Discuss Role of Microfinance and Capital Markets in Fighting Poverty

In response to the upcoming IPO (initial public offering) of SKS Microfinance, an Indian microfinance institution (MFI) with more than 3.5 million borrowers, Mr Michael Schlein, President and CEO of ACCION International, and Mr Michael Chu, senior lecturer at Harvard Business School and former CEO of ACCION, discuss the role of microfinance and the capital markets in fighting poverty in a Forbes magazine article. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Estimates that Global Remittances Declined 11.5% in 2009

According to a report by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a United Nations agency dedicated to eradicating rural poverty in developing countries, global remittances may have declined by up to 11.5 percent in 2009 due to the financial crisis. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Citigroup Pledges $1m to Help Rebuild Microfinance Sector in Haiti Following January Earthquake

Citigroup, a major American financial services company based in New York City, has pledged USD 1 million in grants to help rebuild Haiti’s microfinance industry [1]. The money will be distributed via three microfinance providers: SOGESOL, Fonkoze and FINCA-Haiti. The grants are to be used by microentrepreneurs whose businesses were damaged by the earthquake in mid-January. This adds to the large grants already given to microfinance institutions in Haiti. Fonkoze has already received a USD 4.5 million grant from the MasterCard Foundation, based in Canada [2]. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Experts Debate New Code of Conduct Adopted by the Microfinance India Network (MFIN)

A recent article featured on, an Indian business newspaper owned by the Wall Street Journal, discusses the debate surrounding the code of conduct recently adopted by the Microfinance India Network (MFIN), a trade association made up of 38 Indian non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) engaged in microfinance. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Shaka Mobile and TransferTo Launch Service Facilitating Cross-Border Mobile Money Transfers

Shaka Mobile, a mobile money transfer service provider for African immigrants in the United States, has signed an agreement with TransferTo, a Singapore-based company that operates a global airtime transfer network, to allow customers in the US and around the world to send wireless recharge to their friends and relatives in Africa. Continue reading