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 .
Radio Netherlands Worldwide recently reported that microfinance in Rwanda is “booming” and the Netherlands is contributing to this “success” . 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 .
The nonprofit Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX) recently released the 2009 benchmarking report on the microfinance sector in Brazil, available in Spanish.
Pro Mujer, an international microfinance organization serving 202,000 clients in Latin America, recently released the first issue of a publication that will evaluate field research on new microfinance services.
A recent article in the Nairobi-based Business Daily Africa newspaper stated that insurance companies in Kenya are increasingly looking towards microinsurance ventures to boost their profits.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The nonprofit Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX) recently released the 2009 benchmarking report on microfinance in Africa.
The nonprofit Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX) recently released the 2009 Eastern Europe and Central Asia Microfinance Analysis and Benchmarking Report in Russian.
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 . 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 .
A recent article featured on Livemint.com, 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.
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.
MicroSave, a technical assistance, training and technical resource center for microfinance organizations, has released a podcast discussing issues surrounding the controversially lucrative 2007, USD 458 million initial public offering of the Mexican microfinance bank, Compartamos.
Effective May 26, 2010, the responsAbility Global Microfinance Fund (rAGMF), which directly invests in microfinance institutions (MFIs) and microfinance investment vehicles (MIVs), will temporarily stop accepting investment. A statement released by responsAbility suggests high liquidity, resulting from steadily high net investment inflows and slowing demand for microfinance credit from MFIs driven by the global economic crisis, as the cause of the stoppage .
On April 29, 2010, the Global Resources and Opportunities for Women to Thrive (GROWTH) Act was introduced in the US House of Representatives. The bill, which was originally introduced into the US Senate on July 9, 2009, would provide a range of economic tools intended to help women in developing countries improve their financial situations. The bill includes microfinance and small business development and training as well as measures to enhance women’s land and property rights, to improve wages and working conditions, to improve access to global trade and to strengthen local women’s organizations.
As world leaders haggle over emissions cuts and financial obligations to promote technology transfer to developing nations, a vanguard of microfinance institutions (MFIs) have silently financed purchases of clean energy technologies such as solar panels, biogas digesters, micro hydro dams and clean energy cook stoves in some of the poorest regions of the world. The prevalence of small-scale clean technologies could contribute to the displacement of rapidly expanding coal powered electricity grids to rural areas. Furthermore, it could replace dirty fuels – firewood, animal dung and charcoal – which have significant consequences for human health.