First Ten Microfinance Institutions in Ghana Submit Pricing Data to MFTransparency
LANCASTER, PA, USA & ACCRA, GHANA, June 15, 2011 – Innovative Finance Limited, Association of Progressive Entrepreneurs in Development, Community Aid for Sustainable Development, E-Life Development Agency, Initiative Development – Ghana, Opportunity International Savings and Loan Limited Ghana, Sekam Trust International, Grameen Ghana, CashPhase Ghana Limited and AIDEZ Small Project International are the first ten microfinance institutions to participate in the Transparent Pricing Initiative in Ghana by submitting microloan product information and pricing data.
Through this commitment to transparency and client protection, these institutions have established themselves as leaders in the Ghanaian microfinance market. To date, 33 additional institutions in Ghana have followed their lead by beginning the process of submitting data to MFTransparency.
MFTransparency launched the Transparent Pricing Initiative in Ghana in February 2011 with widespread support from a range of industry actors. Working in partnership with the Ghana Microfinance Institutions Network (GHAMFIN), Association of Rural Banks (ARB), Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (ASSFIN), Credit Union Association of Ghana (CUA) and Ghana Co-operative of Susu Collectors Association (GCSCA), MFTransparency began the Transparent Pricing Initiative in Ghana with two training workshops in Accra and Tamale, attended by more than 130 representatives of leading organizations in the Ghanaian microfinance industry. The workshops provided participants with training on issues related to transparency and consumer protection.
Innovative Finance Limited (IFL) was the first Institution in Ghana to submit pricing data. They recognized the value in the Transparent Pricing Initiative immediately, attending the workshop in Accra and scheduling a meeting with MFTransparency shortly thereafter. After this the data submission was nearly complete, reflecting IFL’s unhesitating dedication to making its prices known. IFL has established itself in the Ghanaian microfinance industry through its innovative services, focused on customer satisfaction and social responsibility. IFL also contributes actively to the development of the Ghanaian microfinance industry as a member of GHAMFIN.
Association of Progressive Entrepreneurs in Development (APED), World Vision partner, completed its data submission in an organized and swift manner. Widely known in the Ghanaian market for its fight against poverty through the development of sustainable micro enterprises owned primarily by women, APED maintains a close relationship with each client.
Community Aid for Sustainable Development (CASUD) was also quick to demonstrate its commitment to transparency, working closely with MFTransparency to complete their data submission quickly and efficiently. With a focus on providing women with financial credit, CASUD works to provide education to these women as well.
MFTransparency awards transparency certification to all financial Institutions who submit data and commit to educating their clients on pricing. This consists of both a certificate to be displayed in the financial institution’s offices as well as a seal of transparency logo to be used on the institution’s marketing materials and website. All financial institutions in Ghana who have yet to submit their pricing data to MFTransparency are encouraged to do so, to show their clients, the Ghanaian microfinance market and the international microfinance community their commitment to transparency.
MicroFinance Transparency is an international non-governmental organization founded in 2008 with the purpose of facilitating transparent markets through pricing disclosure, education and policy advisory. MFTransparency represents an industry movement toward transparent practices and responsibility. Based in the United States, the group has organized transparent pricing efforts in nearly 30 countries on four continents, including 15 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa. For more information please visit www.mftransparency.org. Grameen Bank’s Dr. Muhammad Yunus and Elizabeth Littlefield, former CEO of CGAP, as well as nearly 800 industry professionals and organizations have committed to transparent pricing by endorsing MFTransparency and its initiative. For information on MFTransparency staff, please see Who We Are.
About the enabling APR & EIR Program
The Transparent Pricing Initiative in Ghana is part of a broader project funded by the MasterCard Foundation and known as the enabling APR & EIR Program (enabling Africa to Price Responsibly & Educate on Interest Rates). This project began in August 2010 with Malawi and continued with Uganda, Rwanda, South Africa and Ghana. Project launches in Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique are forthcoming. In each of these countries, MFTransparency collects and publishes data on the interest and fees charged on microfinance loan products in order to calculate their accurate, true prices (Effective Interest Rates). As part of the enabling APR & EIR Program, MFTransparency also conducts training seminars for financial institutions, funders, regulators and industry support organizations, facilitates discussion on policy for pricing disclosure and client protection and produces educational materials tailored to the specific needs of different stakeholder groups, including financial literacy programs for borrowers.