MICROFINANCE EVENT: The International Disaster and Risk Conference (IDRC) 2008 to be Held in Davos Switzerland will Explore Microfinance as a Tool for Disaster and Risk Management



The International Disaster and Risk Conference (IDRC), titled “Public-private partnership – Key for integral risk management and climate change adaptation”, will address the use of microfinance as a tool for risk management and disaster and hold special sessions focusing on microfinance. The conference is themed around exploring strategic responses and methods of risk management in response to threats and disasters such as natural hazards, climate change, pandemics and terrorism. Throughout the conference, and in a special session entitled Microinsurance in Risk Management, microfinance specifically will be focused on as a method to cope with risks and promote economic and social recovery. IDRC will discuss microfinance’s current role in risk management as well as future opportunities in using microfinance and microinsurance as tools for disaster and risk management.

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MICROCAPITAL STORY: Microfinance Brokerage Sites Rangde.org and dhanaX.com Launch in India Following Kiva.org

Two new microlending sites, Rangde.org and dhanaX.com were launched this year to facilitate loans between social investors and low income borrowers in India. Initiated by U.S.-based kiva.org in 2005, micro-lending websites allow individual lenders to invest in individual borrowers via associated microfinance institutions (MFIs) that disperse the loans. These sites appear to be similar to “peer to peer” (p2p) lending sites such as US-based prosper.com, but in reality, are connecting individual borrowers and lenders through a third party (the MFI). Though Rangde and dhanaX also act as microfinance brokers, they are distinct from Kiva because they only allow investments by people with Indian bank accounts. MicroCapital has done extensive coverage on the development of kiva.org including coverage of Kiva’s launch, growth, and operations as a non-governmental organization (NGO). Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: Ecobank Completes its Takeover of Kenya’s East African Building Society (EABS) Bank

Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), a Pan African bank based in Togo, acquired a 75 percent stake in Kenya’s East African Building Society (EABS) Bank. The transnational changed the bank’s name to Ecobank Kenya Limited and appointed businessman Peter Kanyago as the new chairman. The Pandit family, founders and the single largest shareholders of EABS, will retain 25 percent representation in Ecobank Kenya Limited. Although the value of the deal was not disclosed, it was estimated to total USD 18,6 million (KES 1.3 billion). Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: France’s Agency for Development Lends $4.7m to Jordan-based Société Générale de Banque – Jordanie to Support Jordanian Microfinance Institutions Tamweelcom and MEMCO

In its continued support of Jordan’s development efforts, France’s Agency for Development (AFD) loaned EUR 3 million (USD 4.7 million) to commercial bank Société Générale de Banque – Jordanie. The Jordanian bank plans to re-lend the capital to microfinance institutions (MFIs) Tamweelcom and Middle East Microcredit Company (MEMCO), allocating USD 2.8 million to Tamweelcom and USD 1.9 million to MEMCO. AFD’s financing is intended to help expand the geographical outreach of microfinance in Jordan, and to develop new microfinance products and services. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL EVENT: The Boulder Institute of Microfinance (BI) and the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) in the United Kingdom to Offer a Five-day Training Program Entitled “Integrating Microfinance in Development” at the University of Sussex

Integrating Microfinance in Development

September 1-5, 2008, University of Sussex, Brighton, United Kingdom

The Boulder Institute of Microfinance (BI), a nonprofit organization which grew out of microfinance training programs initiated in 1995, and the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), a research organization connected with the University of Sussex, will jointly host “Integrating Microfinance in Development,” a training program designed to educate practitioners involved in a wide range of development fields on the principles of a sustainable microfinance program and how to incorporate it in their operations. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: Annexum, Real Estate Investor Based in Netherlands, Launches Dutch Microfund

Dutch real estate investment company Annexum launched Dutch Microfund, a microfinance investment fund specifically targeted at the private and institutional investors. Dutch Microfund offers private investors the opportunity to invest in microfinance institutions (MFIs) directly or indirectly, through partners and mandates. The investment options are loan, equity and collateralized debt obligations (CDO). The average expected return is 7%-9% given a minimum investment of USD 1,561 (Euros 1000). Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: Nonprofit Nigerian Institute of Animal Science Urges Microfinance Institutions to Ensure Food Security

Responding to an emerging world food shortage, nonprofit research institute Nigerian Institute of Animal Science (NIAS) has urged the country’s microfinance institutions to aim their microlending services at small and large-scale livestock farms to ensure food security. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: Unitus Launches $56m Microfinance Fund; Key Stakeholders Include Legatum, Omidyar Network

Seattle-based Unitus Equity Fund has raised USD 56 million that it plans to invest solely in commercial microfinance institutions throughout the world. Key stakeholders in the private equity fund include Legatum Group and Omidyar Network, each investing USD 20 million. The remaining USD 16 million was provided by an undisclosed source. Omidyar’s investment in the fund comes in the wake of an April 2008  MicroCapital report that Omidyar awarded a USD 9 million grant to Unitus, a nonprofit that is affiliated with the private equity fund. Omidyar’s grant supported Unitus’ three year expansion plan. Continue reading

PIONEERS IN MICROFINANCE: Shafiqual Haque Choudhury, Founder and President of ASA of Bangladesh

Shafiqual Haque Choudhury is Founder and President of microfinance institution ASA of Bangladesh.

MicroCapital: What in your background or upbringing do you think steered you towards your work in social finance?

Shafiqual Haque Choudhury: During my student life, I was exposed to Marx, Lenin and Mao, who tell us to think of the poor. After completing my master’s degree, I joined the Pakistan Academy for Rural Development, which was geared toward helping the middle-class farmer produce more rice with high-yield varieties, irrigation, etc. At that time, it struck me that for the very poor who didn’t have any land, there was nothing. Then I joined an NGO called Christian Commission for Development in Bangladesh. There I found again that nobody was actually working for the landless. Continue reading

PAPER WRAP-UP: Microfinance in Nigeria and the Prospects of Introducing its Islamic Version There in the Light of Selected Muslim Countries Experience by Aliyu Dahiru Mohammed and Zubair Hasan

Written by Aliyu Dahiru Mohammed and Zubair Hasan and released in April 2008 as part of University Library of Munich’s Munich Personal RePEc Archive (MPRA) Paper Series as number 8127, 18 pages, available at http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/8127/1/MPRA_paper_8127.pdf.

This paper examines the potential for microfinance in Nigeria and the specific challenges of aligning microfinance with Islamic law. It proposes that if an Islamic version of microfinancing could be implemented in Nigeria, as it is in other countries, the microfinance industry would see greater growth and success. Continue reading