Governor of the Bank of Zambia proclaims transparent pricing imperative for responsible lending
LANCASTER, PA USA & LUSAKA, ZAMBIA, June 20, 2011 –MFTransparency has successfully launched the Transparent Pricing Initiative in Zambia, the sixth country in the MasterCard Foundation-funded enabling APR & EIR Program.
The official launch workshop took place in Lusaka on June 6. In this workshop, Alexandra Fiorillo, Vice President of MFTransparency, provided training on pricing transparency to more than 40 participants representing a range of local industry stakeholders including some of the leading financial institutions in Zambia and a high-profile delegation from the Bank of Zambia.
Co-hosted by AMIZ, President Dr. George Mulomboi also spoke. Workshop attendees actively participated in the training, discussing some of the most important issues in the Zambian microfinance market. The Guest of Honor was Dr. Caleb Fundanga, Governor of the Bank of Zambia. During his inaugural address he stated that it is “imperative that all institutions provide the price of their loans in terms of the Annual Percentage Rate rather than a monthly percentage” so that “consumers would have a clear picture of precisely how much they need to borrow relative to their income levels…resulting in responsible lending and a more competitive and transparent microfinance industry.”
The event in Lusaka marks the launch of the Transparent Pricing Initiative in Zambia, during which MFTransparency will collect and publish pricing data for microfinance products offered in Zambia. Through this Initiative, MFTransparency will facilitate discussion on issues related to pricing transparency as well as develop and disseminate financial literacy materials for microfinance clients. MFTransparency will work closely with its local partners, AMIZ, the Bank of Zambia and ZACA (Consumer Association of Zambia) to promote standards for transparent pricing in the Zambian microfinance market. More information is available here.
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 Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, Rwanda, Ghana, South Africa, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Benin, Togo, Mali, Niger, India, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina, Colombia and Peru. 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 Zambia will also mark the launch of the sixth country project in the broader enabling APR & EIR Program. The enabling APR & EIR Program is short for enabling Africa to Price Responsibly & Educate on Interest Rates. A client protection effort of unprecedented scale in Africa, the project will raise awareness of transparent pricing issues in Malawi, Uganda, Rwanda, Ghana, Tanzania, Zambia, South Africa, and Mozambique. The main objective of the enabling APR & EIR Program is to promote improved consumer protection principles through microfinance product pricing transparency. Launched in August 2010, Malawi was the first country of the enabling APR & EIR Program to begin the Transparent Pricing Initiative. Data for Uganda and Rwanda is forthcoming.
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To submit data to the Transparent Pricing Initiative in Zambia please write to [email protected]