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. Both loans are denominated in West African Communauté Financière Africaine (CFA) francs.
COMUBA is a credit union that seeks to improve the livelihoods of women in rural Benin through the provision of credit and deposit services. It is affiliated with Benin’s National Fund for Microfinance, a government backed entity established in 2006 to refinance and provide capacity building services to MFIs in the country. COMUBA had 42,500 customers as of September 2014.
COOPEC SIFA is a microfinance institution (MFI) that focuses on providing small loans to poor women in the rural areas of northern Togo in order to help them generate more income. The organization was started by Mouvement des Jeunes et Adultes Ruraux et Catholiques (JARC), a non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Togo. As of March 2015, COOPEC SIFA reported approximately 21,000 active borrowers.
Recent financial information on the MFIs is not available. COOPEC SIFA does not report to the US-based nonprofit Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX), and COMUBA has not done so since 2012.
GCAMF was founded in Luxembourg in 2008 by Credit Agricole SA, a French retail bank, and Grameen Trust, a nonprofit microfinance organization affiliated with the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh. GCAMF focuses on supporting organizations that prioritize rural development, transparency, consumer protection and serving women. The foundation has been active in 18 countries in Africa, Asia and Europe. Since its inception through March 2016 it has invested in 46 microfinance institutions, 13 social-business projects and one fund.
By Ryan Gauthier, Research Associate
Sources and Additional Resources
Information provided directly to MicroCapital by GCAMF.
MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation Lends $1.2m in Local Currency to Alidé, COMUBA of Benin: https://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-grameen-credit-agricole-microfinance-foundation-lends-1-2m-in-local-currency-to-alide-comuba-of-benin/
MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation Lends $170k in Local Currency to Togo’s COOPEC SIFA:
Microfinance Information Exchange: