MFTransparency and Luxembourg Development Cooperation launch Transparent Pricing Initiative in West Africa
LANCASTER, PA, July 1st, 2010 — MicroFinance Transparency (MFTransparency) and Luxembourg Development Cooperation have partnered to expand the Transparent Pricing Initiative to West Africa. MFTransparency will begin to implement the Initiative in July to promote pricing transparency and consumer protection throughout the region.
Two workshops in Dakar, Sénégal and Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso on July 6 and July 9, respectively, will train industry professionals on issues related to pricing transparency and mark the launch of the Transparent Pricing Initiative in the first two countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). Strategic implementation partners in this effort are MFTransparency’s regional partner INAFI (International Network of Alternative Financial Institutions) and local microfinance networks. In Senegal, MFTransparency collaborates with DMF (Direction of the Microfinance) and AP/SFD–Sénégal (Association Professionnelle des Systèmes Financiers Décentralisés). In Burkina Faso, MFTransparency works with APIM-BF (Association des Systèmes Professionnels des Institutions de la Microfinance au Burkina Faso) to implement the Initiative.
The launch in Senegal and Burkina Faso will mark the beginning of MFTransparency’s Transparent Pricing Initiative in 8 countries in West Africa: Senegal, Burkina Faso, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Togo, Guinea Bissau, Mali and Niger. These eight countries have been selected for their growing microfinance industries and their close partnership under the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). As the industry leader in microfinance pricing methodology and transparency, MFTransparency will facilitate training on costs and pricing of microloan products, pricing data collection and publication, and the development and dissemination of educational materials.
This work addresses a fundamental component of client protection by enabling consumers to make informed decisions. It also facilitates the functioning of healthy free markets in which fair competition is possible and artificially high profit-seeking rates are exposed. MFTransparency focuses on training and education of the broad range of stakeholders to create an environment in which transparency leads to a strengthening of the local microfinance industry. Through the Transparent Pricing Initiative in West Africa, MFTransparency seeks to promote sustainable microfinance and expand access to microloans for those in need.
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 and India. For more information please visit www.mftransparency.org. Grameen Bank’s Dr. Mohammad Yunus and Elizabeth Littlefield, former CEO of CGAP, as well as more than 200 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 Luxembourg Cooperation
For more than 15 years, Luxembourg Development Cooperation has been interested in the evolution of microfinance and inclusive financial systems. The organization recognizes the benefits in fighting poverty, provided that the instruments used are appropriate to the cultural contexts and applied with the necessary management rigor.
Luxembourg Development Cooperation not only comprises support to microfinance activities in the field but also an accompaniment of the inclusive financial sector promotion, including an engaged advocacy in Luxembourg and international forums.
A program to promote regional inclusive financial sectors in the WAEMU zone (Lux-Development AFR/017 Project) in partnership with the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) is currently operational in the zone. Its main objective is to consolidate the sector and control risks related to the promotion of microfinance activities in the WAEMU region.
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