INTERNATIONAL DISASTER AND RISK CONFERENCE (IDRC) DAVOS 2008
AUGUST 25-29, 2008, DAVOS, SWITZERLAND
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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