SPECIAL REPORT: Registration Open for European Microfinance Week; November 29 – December 1, 2017; Luxembourg

Event Name: European Microfinance Week

Event Date: November 29 – December 1, 2017

Event Location: Luxembourg

Summary of Event: On November 29, the European Microfinance Platform’s (e-MFP’s) ten Action Groups will meet to build on months of work by holding in-depth discussions and training on their focus topics, such as inclusive green finance, digital innovations, small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) finance and rural finance.

On November 30 and December 1, more than 80 organisations will be represented in over 30 sessions covering front line topics such as low-cost technology for financial services providers, responsible exits, reaching scale in inclusive green finance, rural youth

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Water.org’s WaterEquity Borrowing $20m from Overseas Private Investment Corporation for WaterCredit Investment Fund 3 to Finance Water, Sanitation Systems in Asia

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation, a self-sustaining agency of the US government, recently agreed to lend USD 20 million to the WaterCredit Investment Fund 3, which will invest in microfinance institutions (MFIs) and other organizations that facilitate the deployment of safe water and sanitation systems. The goal of the fund is to raise USD 50 million to reach 4.6 million people in South and Southeast Asia over

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MFIs in Asia, Central America Borrow $10m from C-Quadrat’s Dual Return Vision Microfinance Funds

C-Quadrat Asset Management, an arm of Austrian fund manager C-Quadrat, recently informed MicroCapital that its Dual Return Vision Microfinance funds lent a total approximately equivalent to USD 10 million to unidentified microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Guatemala, India, Kazakhstan, Nicaragua and

SPECIAL REPORT: Ann Miles on Envisioning Agriculture As a Business for Youth in Africa – 3 Weeks Ahead of the SAM Conference in Ethiopia

MicroCapital: The Mastercard Foundation is organizing a session at SAM (Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance) on “Envisioning agriculture as a business for youth in Africa.” What tools do youth need to be successful in agriculture?

Ann Miles: Learning and training is critical for youth to succeed in whatever they undertake, so we offer scholarships for talented but underprivileged youth to obtain secondary and university education. Once they graduate, we assist young people in finding work in agriculture; accessing finance or training for entrepreneurship; or developing the “soft skills” necessary to succeed in any job, such as networking, communication, or demonstrating reliability and resourcefulness.

Studies consistently have shown that

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: C-Quadrat’s Dual Return Vision Microfinance Funds Loan $12.5 to MFIs in Latin America, Southeast Asia

An arm of Austrian fund manager C-Quadrat, C-Quadrat Asset Management, recently informed MicroCapital that its Dual Return Vision Microfinance and Dual Return Vision Microfinance-Local Currency funds lent a total approximately equivalent to USD 12.5 million to unidentified microfinance institutions (MFIs) in four Latin American countries – Bolivia, El Salvador, Guatemala and Peru – as well as

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: World Vision, Développement international Desjardins (DiD), Enablis Deploying Skills Training for Employment Program (STEP) in Senegal

Three Canadian NGOs, World Vision Canada, a unit of US-based Christian NGO World Vision; Développement international Desjardins (DID), a provider of access to financial services and financial education; and Enablis Canada, a consultant to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), recently collaborated to launch

MICROFINANCE EVENT: 3rd African International Conference on Islamic Finance; October 16-17, 2017; Abuja, Nigeria

Event Name: Third African International Conference on Islamic Finance

Event Location: Transcorp Hilton Abuja; Abuja, Nigeria

Summary of Event: This conference aims to highlight the ethics and impact of Islamic finance, primarily in West Africa. The agenda topics include ethical investment; regulations; financial technology; the alignment between Islamic finance and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals; and Islamic capital markets, including sukuk (bond) markets. One of the major ways that Islamic lending differs from mainstream loans is the use of mechanisms such as the sharing of profit and loss in lieu of conventional interest payments.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Alliance for Microfinance in Myanmar Raises $5m in Equity from BOPA, IFU, Insitor, Asia Impact Investment Fund

The Alliance for Microfinance in Myanmar, a Mandalay-based microfinance institution, recently received equity investments totaling USD 5 million from

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Ghana Association of Microfinance Companies (GAMC) Lobbies Central Bank to Reduce Capital Requirement for Rural MFIs

The Ghana Association of Microfinance Companies (GAMC) , an “umbrella” organization with 708 members, recently opened talks with the Bank of Ghana (BoG), the nation’s central bank, arguing for the loosening of regulations for

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Taps Albania Agribusiness Support Facility (AASF) to Back $60m in Loans for Farmers, Related Firms

Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Albania, a subsidiary of Italy-based Intesa Sanpaolo, recently partnered with the Albania Agribusiness Support Facility (AASF), a funding vehicle established by

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Central Bank of Myanmar Clears the Air by Issuing Mobile Financial Services License for OK Dollar

Myanmar’s Internet Wallet Limited reportedly has received a mobile financial services license from the Central Bank of Myanmar to cover the operations of its subsidiary, OK Dollar,

SPECIAL REPORT: Saleh Usman Gashua of AFRACA on Creating Value for SMEs at SAM (Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance)

MicroCapital: What is your perspective on the theme of SAM (Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance) this year, “Creating Value for SMEs: A New Frontier for Inclusive Finance”?

Saleh Usman Gashua: Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Africa are facing numerous challenges, especially in accessing finance. SMEs, particularly those in the “missing middle,” comprise a segment whose growth and development will go a long way in generating jobs for young Africans. With 11 million youth entering Africa’s labour market each year, we cannot ignore SMEs. Microfinance institutions (MFIs) and other organizations serving these enterprises therefore have a major role to play in the future of Africa. I hope this edition of SAM will generate a range of concrete solutions for this segment.

MC: Your organization, the African Rural & Agricultural Credit Association (AFRACA), is one of several networks that collaborated to create SAM.

SUG: Organizing a forum of this magnitude is by no means an easy task! Given the experience of AFRACA organizing similar forums in the past, we know that a partnership approach is necessary. The coordination process so far has been seamless, with the lead institution, ADA, facilitating