First MFIs to Participate inTransparent Pricing Initiative in Uganda
LANCASTER, PA, USA & KAMPALA, UGANDA, February 21, 2011 – Micro Enterprise Development Uganda (MedNet), Kacita and Y-Save are the first microfinance institutions to participate in the Transparent Pricing Initiative in Uganda 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 Ugandan microfinance market. To date, six additional institutions in Uganda have followed their lead in submitting data to MFTransparency and another six have begun the process. The full list is available here.
MFTransparency launched the Transparent Pricing Initiative in Uganda in December 2010 with widespread support from a range of industry actors. Working in partnership with the Association of Microfinance Institutions of Uganda (AMFIU), MFTransparency began the Transparent Pricing Initiative in Uganda with a series of training workshops in Kampala, Mbarara and Gulu. These workshops were attended by many industry leaders, 122 in total, and provided participants with training on issues related to transparency and consumer protection.
MedNet was the first MFI in Uganda to submit pricing data. They recognized the value in the Transparent Pricing Initiative immediately, attending the workshop in Kampala and meeting with MFTransparency shortly thereafter. By the time this initial meeting concluded the data submission was nearly complete, reflecting MedNet’s unhesitating dedication to making its prices known. The official date of submission was January 21, 2011. MedNet has already established itself as a pioneer in the Ugandan microfinance industry through its innovative services, focusing on addressing housing and land ownership needs. MedNet also contributes actively to the development of the Ugandan microfinance industry as a member of AMFIU.
Kacita, a SACCO, completed its data submission early and swiftly. Kacita is known in the Ugandan market for its close relationships and one on one time dedicated to clients, even through the CEO level. Y-Save was also quick to demonstrate its commitment to transparency, with staff at all levels working closely with MFTransparency to complete their data submission quickly and efficiently. Having begun with savings exclusively and expanded into credit, one of Y-Save’s defining characteristics is its focus on meeting client needs.
MFTransparency awards transparency certification to all MFIs who submit data and commit to educating their clients on pricing. This consists of both a certificate to be displayed in the MFI’s offices as well as a seal of transparency logo to be used on the MFI’s marketing materials and website. All MFIs in Uganda who have yet to submit their pricing data to MFTransparency are encouraged to do so, to show their clients, the Ugandan microfinance market and the international microfinance community their commitment to transparency.
The Transparent Pricing Initiative in Uganda 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, continued with Uganda, Rwanda and South Africa and will launch in Ghana this week, expanding to Tanzania, Zambia and Mozambique before concluding at the end of 2011. In each of these countries MFTransparency will collect and publish data on 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 will continue to conduct training seminars for MFIs, funders, regulators and industry support organizations and facilitate discussion on policy for client protection and financial inclusion. In addition, MFTransparency will develop and disseminate educational materials tailored to the specific needs of different stakeholder groups, including financial literacy programs for microfinance clients.
MicroFinance Transparency is an international non-governmental organization founded in 2008 with the purpose of facilitating transparent markets through the dissemination of true cost information to all market stakeholders. MFTransparency represents an industry movement toward fair practices and responsibility. Based in the United States, the group has organized transparent pricing efforts in Bosnia, Peru, Cambodia, Azerbaijan, Kenya, Bangladesh, Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, Colombia, India, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Togo, Benin, Malawi, Uganda and Rwanda. For more information please visit www.mftransparency.org. Grameen Bank’s Dr. Mohammad Yunus and Elizabeth Littlefield, former CEO of CGAP, as well as nearly 700 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.
|To submit data to the Transparent Pricing Initiative in Uganda, please contact:||For questions relating to this press release please contact:|
|Jessica Haeussler||Jordan Filko|
|[email protected]||[email protected]|