The Ghanaian arm of MicroEnsure UK, a microinsurance intermediary and subsidiary of US-based nonprofit Opportunity International, recently unveiled Edusave, a savings-linked life insurance and education finance product. Edusave aims to ensure that Ghanaian children have the opportunity to attend school even in the event of a parent’s death or disability. To participate in Edusave, a parent opens an account with Ghanaian microfinance institution Opportunity International Savings and Loans and names one child as a beneficiary. Once the parent saves GHS 50 (USD 25), the child is covered for school fees of five times that amount, which is the approximate cost of one year of school. As more money is saved, a higher level insurance is earned, up to a maximum of eight years of school fees.
In 2011, MicroEnsure Ghana partnered with Women’s World Banking Ghana, a savings and loans institution affiliated with the US-based nonprofit Women’s World Banking, to provide savings-linked life insurance products in the country. From June to November 2011, the total of deposits in accounts with balances under GHS 100 (approximately USD 50) increased from GHS 750,000 (USD 394,600) to GHS 2.3 million (USD 1.2 million), with the savings-linked insurance product reportedly representing the only major intervention during this five-month period.
As of 2011, OISL had a gross loan portfolio of USD 25.2 million disbursed to 58,000 borrowers and deposits of USD 21 million collected from 58,000 depositors. MicroEnsure serves approximately 3.5 million poor clients in Ghana, India, Bangladesh, Mozambique, Malawi, the Philippines, Tanzania and Kenya as of 2011.
By Chioma Okwudiafor, Research Associate
MicroEnsure was founded in 2005 in the UK as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Opportunity International, a US-based nonprofit microfinance network created in 1974. MicroEnsure was known as the Micro Insurance Agency until 2008. As an insurance intermediary, it provides a range of products including health, life, property and weather index-based insurance to approximately 3.5 million poor clients through retail providers in Ghana, India, Bangladesh, Mozambique, Malawi, the Philippines, Tanzania and Kenya as of 2011.
About Opportunity International Savings and Loans, Ghana
Opportunity International Savings and Loans (OISL) of Ghana was founded by the US-based NGO Opportunity International, when it helped convert its partner NGO Sinapi Aba Trust into a formal financial institution. OISL was granted a license by the Bank of Ghana to offer business in savings and loans in June 2004. OISL offers micro- and small entrepreneurs loans, deposits and other financial services intended to enable them to increase their income and improve their lives. As at 2011, OISL had a gross loan portfolio of USD 25.2 million disbursed to 58,000 borrowers and deposits of USD 21 million collected from 58,000 depositors with return on assets of 6.98 percent return on equity of 34.18 percent.
Sources and Additional Resources:
MicroEnsure News: Edusave Launches in Ghana
MicroCapital Story: March 8, 2012, MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MicroEnsure Ghana to Launch Credit Health Insurance for Microfinance Clients
MicroCapital.Story: December 27, 2010, “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC) Expands Microinsurance in Kenya and Rwanda Through Syngenta, International Livestock Research Institute, MicroEnsure,”http://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-international-finance-corporation-ifc-expands-microinsurance-in-kenya-and-rwanda-through-syngenta-international-livestock-research-institute-microensure/
MicroCapital Story: March 22, 2011, MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: Solutions for Financial Inclusion: Serving Rural Women; By Anjali Banthia, Janiece Greene, Celina Kawas, Elizabeth Lynch, Julie Slama; Published by Women’s World Banking (WWB)
MicroCapital Universe Profile: MicroEnsure
MicroCapital Universe Profile: Opportunity International Savings and Loans
MicroCapital Universe Profile: Women’s World Banking (WWB)
MicroCapital Universe Profile: Opportunity International
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