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.”
“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.
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 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.”
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
FINCA Microfinance Bank Limited, the Nigerian affiliate of the US-based Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA International), is serving 20,700 customers via 20 agents in the state of Imo.
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.
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.
“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.