The Rwanda Cooperative Agency (RCA), a regulatory institution of the Rwandan government, is establishing a cooperative bank to provide “long-term” loans to farmers.
The Netherlands Development Finance Company, a government-backed institution also known by its Dutch acronym FMO, recently announced it will loan USD 7.5 million to the Association for Social Advancement (ASA) Pakistan, a microlending unit of Mauritius-based ASA International Holding, “to provide funding and financial education to about 50,000 women and their families.”
India Ratings, a subsidiary of US-based Fitch Group, recently announced that its “0+ days delinquency index” increased from 0.45 percent to 10.82 percent in the four months following November 2016 and thus concluded that the Indian government’s demonetization had a significant negative effect on microlenders .
The Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF), a Luxembourg-based provider of financial services to social businesses, recently informed MicroCapital that it has committed to extending the following loans in phases over three years: the equivalent of USD 615,000 to La Coopérative Des Membres Unis Bethel Actions (COMUBA) in Benin and the equivalent of USD 350,000 to Coopérative d’Epargne et de Crédit des Soutien aux Initiatives de Femmes pour l’Autopromotion (COOPEC SIFA) in Togo.
The African Development Bank (AfDB), a multilateral institution providing loans and grants to governments and private companies in Africa, recently agreed to invest USD 15 million in Shore Capital Fund III, which is managed by Equator Capital Partners LLC, a US-based “impact” fund manager, with the goal of “expand[ing] access to affordable and responsible financial products and services for the underserved market.”
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) recently launched the third phase of a program aimed at empowering youth and women entrepreneurs in Uzbekistan.
First Merchant Bank, a Malawi-based financial institution, recently announced it will pay an undisclosed price to acquire Opportunity International Bank of Malawi (OIBM), a microbank affiliated with US-based NGO Opportunity International.
MicroCapital: How has SAM (Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance) evolved since its launch four years ago?
Laura Foschi: We held the first edition of SAM in 2013 in Arusha, Tanzania. Our goal was to align the annual meetings of three networks of African microfinance institutions: the Africa Microfinance Network (AFMIN), African Microfinance Transparency (AMT) and the Microfinance African Institutions Network (MAIN). We had conference sessions on the first day, the networks’ general assemblies on the second day and an Investor’s Fair on the third day. During the week, we realized the potential of SAM to become a major African inclusive finance event.
We decided to move the location each time with the aim of engaging both French-speaking and English-speaking regions and organizations. In 2015, we held the conference in Senegal, expanding it to include two days of conference sessions and a broader range of parallel events. We were pleasantly surprised to have our registrations double to over 500 people! Perhaps for the fourth edition we will move to North Africa or Southern Africa.
MC: How did you select Ethiopia for the 2017 SAM?
LF: In order to maintain Ethiopia’s strong economic growth, its large young population will need to achieve what we call “economic inclusion.” In order to address this challenge, the government of Ethiopia has prioritized both microfinance and
The Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF), a Luxembourg-based provider of financial services to social businesses, recently informed MicroCapital that it has committed to extending loans totaling the following amounts in phases over three years: the euro equivalent of USD 1.15 million to First MicroCredit Company (FMCC) and the euro equivalent of USD 574,000 to Oxus Kyrgyzstan.
Banco Popular de Ahorro (BPA), a government-owned bank in Cuba, recently began offering a mobile banking service called Banca Movil that operates through an app on mobile phones that use the Android operating system.
Access Financial Services Limited, a Jamaican provider of payday and business loans, recently bought Jamaican microfinance institution Micro Credit Limited (MCL) for JMD 80 million (USD 630,000).
The Netherlands Development Finance Company, a government-backed institution also known by its Dutch acronym FMO, recently announced it will finance Umati Capital Kenya, a financial technology (fintech) firm, with a convertible facility in local currency equivalent to USD 344,000.
The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) recently embarked on an effort strengthen the microfinance industry in the country. Banks have been given a uniform set of standards to use in evaluating requests for funding by microfinance institutions.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, recently announced it has arranged a loan package of USD 81.2 million for Banco Industrial do Brasil (BIB).
The Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF), a Luxembourg-based provider of financial services to social businesses, recently informed MicroCapital that it has committed to extending loans totaling the following amounts in phases over three years: the euro equivalent of USD 2.96 million to Myanmar’s Proximity Finance; the euro equivalent of USD 1.60 million to BRAC Myanmar; and the euro equivalent to USD 1.37 million to VisionFund Myanmar.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based multilateral development institution, recently announced it will loan EUR 20 million (USD 23 million) to the Bank Moscow-Minsk, which is owned by the National Bank of Belarus.
As part of its launch, the Women’s Financial Inclusion Community of Practice (COP) recently released its website, https://www.microfinancegateway.org/organization/womens-financial-inclusion-community-practice, which is intended to facilitate discussions on best practices and solving shared challenges relating to delivering financial services to women with low incomes.
Two NGOs, the Pakistan-based AlHuda Center of Islamic Banking & Economics (CIBE) and Azerbaijan’s Studying of Economic Resources (SER) Public Union recently announced they will collaborate to promote Islamic finance in Azerbaijan and other countries in the Caucasus region.