MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Accion Microfinance Bank to Borrow $1.6m from Citibank Nigeria to Support 5k MSEs

Accion Microfinance Bank (Accion Nigeria), the Nigerian partner of US-based nonprofit Accion, recently announced it will borrow NGN 500 million (USD 1.58 million) from Citibank Nigeria, an arm of US-based financial services provider Citigroup, for on-lending to “support the development of approximately 5,000 micro and small enterprises in the country.”

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Free-riding vs Group Insurance; “Responsible” Microfinance Pricing; State of Microinsurance

“The Social Dilemma of Microinsurance: Free-riding in a Framed Field Experiment;” by Wendy Janssens and Berber Kramer; published by Elsevir; March 2016; 15 pages; available at:

This paper analyzes the incentives for individuals to buy health microinsurance while active in borrowing groups. Health issues are consistently among the top reasons people become unable to repay loans.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: COMUBA of Benin, COOPEC SIFA of Togo Borrow $1m from Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GGAMF)

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.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Equator’s Shore Capital Fund III Raises $15m from AfDB to Invest in Financial Inclusion in Africa

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.”

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: First Merchant Bank Acquiring Opportunity International Bank of Malawi to Boost Microfinance Services

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.

SPECIAL REPORT: ADA’s Laura Foschi on Creating Value for SMEs at SAM in Ethiopia, October 2017

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

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Netherlands’ FMO Issues $344k Convertible Loan to Umati Capital Kenya, Fintech Funding Agricultural Value Chain Actors

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.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Central Bank of Egypt Sets Credit Standards for Banks Lending to Microfinance Institutions

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.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Association of Microfinance Institutions of Rwanda Rolls Out “Responsible Finance Through Local Leadership and Learning Program”

In partnership with the US-based, nonprofit Small Enterprise Education and Promotion (SEEP) Network and The MasterCard Foundation of Canada, the Association of Microfinance Institutions of Rwanda (AMIR) recently rolled out the Responsible Finance Through Local Leadership and Learning Program.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: FMO Lending $4m to Babban Gona to Provide Business Services on Credit to Farmers in Nigeria

Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden, a development bank controlled by the Dutch government, recently offered a loan of USD 4 million to Babban Gona, a Nigerian for-profit company that provides business services to small-scale farmers such as assistance with crop insurance; soil analysis; marketing; distribution; and access to seeds, fertilizer and storage facilities.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: IFC Invests $4.5m in Medical Credit Fund to Support SME Providers of Healthcare in Africa

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group, recently announced it will invest USD 4.5 million in the Medical Credit Fund (MCF), a unit of the Dutch nonprofit PharmAccess Group, to finance small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that provide healthcare services in Africa.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: National Bank of Rwanda (NBR) Rolls Out Electronic Data Warehouse to Automate Reporting by Microfinance, Traditional Financial Institutions

The National Bank of Rwanda (NBR), the central bank of the country, recently implemented an electronic data warehouse (EDW) system to automate the reporting processes of 14 financial services providers, three of which are microfinance institutions.

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Sanabel’s Annual Conference: Financial Inclusion in the Arab Countries; November 7-8, 2017; Beirut, Lebanon

Event Name: Sanabel’s 2017 Conference: Financial Inclusion in the Arab Countries; A Journey of Collaboration and Achievements

Event Date: November 7 – November 8, 2017

Event Location: Beirut, Lebanon

Summary of Event: This conference is intended to contribute to a more “inclusive and progressive” microfinance environment in the Arab region. The topic themes include the evolution of microfinance institutions (MFIs) and clients; supporting existing and new partnerships; MFIs’ role in advancing the UN’s sustainable development goals; strategic leadership and risk management; and advancing youth financial inclusion.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: The MasterCard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity Awards $3m to Ibero Uganda, First Access, Letshego; Is Accepting Applications for More Funding Through August 10

KPMG, a network of professional firms providing business services in 155 countries, recently informed MicroCapital that The MasterCard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity has awarded USD 1 million each to the following financial services providers: Ibero Uganda for the provision of loans, training and related services to coffee farmers; US-based First Access for an agricultural credit scoring mechanism for lenders serving farmers in Tanzania; and Botswana-based Letshego Financial Services for an agency banking project in Mozambique.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Nigeria’s Access Bank, FMO Launch Female Leadership Programme in Ghana

Access Bank Ghana, an affiliate of Nigeria’s Access Bank Plc, recently partnered with the Netherlands Development Finance Company, a government-backed institution also known by its Dutch acronym FMO, to launch a Female Leadership Programme for entrepreneurs in Ghana.

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Financial Literacy, Gender Disparity in the Solomon Islands; Savings Groups’ Impact in Ghana, Malawi, Uganda; Financial Inclusion Survey in Vanuatu

“Case Study: SolTuna – Tuna Processing, Solomon Islands;” published by the International Finance Corporation; September 2016; 20 pages; available at:

This case study investigates the connections between financial literacy and the reduction of absenteeism and other problems at SolTuna, a tuna processing plant in the Solomon Islands.