MFTransparency, a US-based nongovernmental organization launched in July 2008 that aims to provide information on credit products and pricing, the Association of Micro Finance Institutions in Rwanda and the Association of Microfinance Institutions of Uganda, are partnering to expand MFTransparency’s Transparent Pricing Initiative to those two countries with the aim of providing training on interest rate calculations, publishing online pricing information and promoting consumer protection.
The launch is to take place through workshops both in Rwanda and Uganda in December as part of a larger initiative called the Enabling APR and EIR Program (Enabling Africa to Price Responsibly and Educate on Interest Rates), which is sponsored by the MasterCard Foundation of Canada, a private foundation that aims to enable people living in poverty to improve their lives. The program is planned for expansion in Ghana, Tanzania, Zambia, South Africa, and Mozambique in addition to Malawi where it was launched in August 2010. The workshops are meant to expose investors, microfinance insitutions (MFIs) and regulators in Rwanda and Uganda to the advantages of pricing transparency .
About MFTransparency: MFTransparency is a nongovernmental organization that aims to provide “information on credit products and their prices in a clear and consistent fashion” for the microfinance industry. MFTransparency collects data on the interest and fees charged on microfinance loan products in order to calculate the effective interest rates on those loans. Its intention is to establish the industry standard for pricing disclosure and to facilitate a fair exchange of microfinance products between suppliers and consumers. MFTransparency was launched in July 2008 and is based in the US. According to its website, as of December 6, 2009, it has been endorsed by 264 “industry leaders?” that serve 80 million clients globally.
About the MasterCard Foundation: Based in Canada, the MasterCard Foundation is a private foundation with over CAD 3 billion (USD 2.9 billion) in assets. The foundation’s goal is to enable people living in poverty to improve their lives with increased access to microfinance and education. The Foundation was established in 2006 by a gift of shares from global payment processor MasterCard Worldwide during the company’s initial public offering.
About the Association of Micro Finance Institutions in Rwanda: The Association of Micro Finance Institutions in Rwanda (AMIR) was established in June 2007 as a forum for capacity building, advocacy research and development for microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Rwanda. The network also aims to foster information exchange and transparency. As of 2010, AMIR has 84 active members serving poor and middle class families.
About the Association of Microfinance Institutions of Uganda: The Association of Microfinance Institutions of Uganda (AMFIU), is an umbrella organization for Ugandan microfinance institutions (MFIs) and related organizations. It was established in 1996 in order to strengthen Ugandan MFIs’ lobbying efforts with respect to government policy formation and to aid local MFIs in networking with other local and international organizations. As of 2010, AMFIU has 117 member institutions, of which 79 are MFIs and 39 are industry support organizations.
By Diana Baide, Research Assistant
 Press Releases submitted to MicroCapital by MFTransparency
MicroCapital’s Microfinance Universe profile: Association of Micro Finance Institutions in Rwanda
MicroCapital’s Microfinance Universe profile: Association of Microfinance Institutions of Uganda
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