At the recent launch of the Zimbabwe Microfinance Wholesale Facility (ZMWF), a vehicle that offers wholesale funds to financial intermediaries, Norman Mataruka, registrar of banking institutions for the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), reportedly claimed that microfinance institutions (MFIs) charge interest rates as high as 40 percent per month, negatively impacting key economic drivers – micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises. At the same event, Ethel Hlabangana, acting secretary of the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development, reportedly expressed hope that ZMWF would result in lower microfinance interest rates, as well as benefit groups that contribute significantly to employment creation and economic growth such as women, cross-border traders, farmers and small-scale manufacturers.
As of December 2012, ZMWF has approved 8 undisclosed MFIs for loans totaling USD 735,000. ZMWF charges interest rates between 9 and 16 percent per annum. ZMWF was founded 2011 by the Zimbabwe Association of Microfinance Institutions (ZAMFI), a microfinance network with 72 members, in collaboration with the following partners – Hivos of the Netherlands, the UK Department for International Development and German development agency Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
By Jennifer Young, Research Associate
About Zimbabwe Microfinance Wholesale Facility (ZMWF)
The Zimbabwe Microfinance Wholesale Facility (ZMWF) offers wholesale funds to financial intermediaries for re-lending to micro and small enterprises (MSEs) in Zimbabwe. It aims to reduce poverty and create employment by increasing access to financial services for women and poor people, while fostering sustainability. ZMWF was founded 2011 by the Zimbabwe Association of Microfinance Institutions (ZAMFI), a microfinance network with 72 members, in collaboration with the following partners – Hivos of the Netherlands, the UK Department for International Development and German development agency Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
About Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)
Founded in 1956 as the Bank of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) is responsible for the formulation and implementation of monetary policy in Zimbabwe and undertakes the supervision of the country’s financial sector including commercial banks and financial institutions. Dr. Gideon Gono was appointed governor of the institution in 2003 and continues to serve in that capacity as of 2012.
Sources and Additional Resources
allAfrica Story: “Zimbabwe: Govt Bemoans High Microfinance Interest Rates”
MicroCapital Story: “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: CBZ Bank of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Microfinance Wholesale Trust Issuing Loans of Up to $50k to Microfinance Institutions in Zimbabwe,” December 28, 2011.
MicroCapital Story: “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: 8th Annual Clinton Global Initiative: Commitments to Financial Access, Global Citizen Awards Presented,” September 28, 2012.
MicroCapital Story: “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: BancABC Zimbabwe to Launch Microfinance, ABC Holdings Plans to Raise $50m in Capital,” April 9, 2012.
MicroCapital Story: “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: ABC Holdings, BancABC to Roll Out Microfinance Services in Zimbabwe,” April 26, 2011.
MicroCapital Universe Profile: Zimbabwe Microfinance Wholesale Facility (ZMWF)
MicroCapital Universe Profile: Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)
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