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Launch of Transparent Pricing Initiative in Ethiopia

Published on September 7, 2011

LANCASTER, PA USA & ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA, September 7, 2011 – On September 20, 2011, MFTransparency and the Association of Ethiopian Microfinance Institutions (AEMFI) will launch the Transparent Pricing Initiative in Ethiopia, funded by MicroNed. The launch will take place in conjunction with the 2011 African Microfinance Conference.

As part of the 5th Annual African Microfinance Conference, hosted by AEMFI, MFTransparency COO Alexandra Fiorillo will make a presentation on pricing transparency and responsible pricing to a range of local industry stakeholders including microfinance institutions, regulators, funders and other support organizations. This session in Addis Ababa will mark the launch of the Transparent Pricing Initiative in Ethiopia, a client protection initiative during which MFTransparency will collect and publish pricing data for microfinance products offered in Ethiopia. Through this Initiative, MFTransparency will facilitate discussion on issues related to social performance and pricing transparency as well as develop and disseminate educational materials for different microfinance stakeholder groups.

The Transparent Pricing Initiative in Ethiopia will also mark the launch of MFTransparency’s 17th country project in Africa. Our work in Africa began in 2009 with the Transparent Pricing Initiative in Kenya, also funded by MicroNed, and has since expanded to Central, West and Southern Africa through the enabling APR & EIR Program and the Transparent Pricing Initiative in West Africa. This project will complement the strong focus of Ethiopian institutions on social performance and build on other client protection initiatives already underway in the country, such as the work of the Smart Campaign and the Social Performance Task Force.

“We are especially excited about the timing of this launch as two of the most important gatherings in the African microfinance industry are also taking place in Ethiopia this year ,” said Alexandra Fiorillo. “This is a great opportunity for AEMFI and the rest of the Ethiopian market to showcase their commitment to social performance and client protection on an international stage.”

The Association of Ethiopian Microfinance Institutions (AEMFI), established in 1999, has been a key driver of the development of the Ethiopian microfinance industry. Since its inception, AEMFI has focused on facilitating the exchange of information and knowledge between actors in the Ethiopian microfinance industry in order to build an environment conducive to the growth of a sustainable sector.

MFTransparency is a global initiative for transparent pricing in the microfinance industry. In each country included in its Global Transparent Pricing Initiative, MFTransparency collects data on the interest, fees and all charges on microfinance loan products in order to calculate the accurate, true price (Effective Interest Rate) on those loans. Its objective is to establish the industry standard for pricing disclosure and facilitate transparent communication between suppliers and consumers of microfinance products.

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About MFTransparency
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 on four continents and nearly 20 countries in 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 more than 860 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 Association of Ethiopian Microfinance Institutions (AEMFI)
AEMFI’s vision is to provide value adding services in building an inclusive financial system in Ethiopia by promoting information exchange, facilitating an enabling environment and developing the capacity of the Ethiopian microfinance system sustainably. AEMFI’s membership includes 30 MFIs licensed by the National Bank of Ethiopia and representing a range of organization types offering a variety of services to low-income Ethiopians.
Transparency and social responsiveness are among AEMFI’s core values and their activities include providing its membership with training, research, performance monitoring and technical assistance and networking services. Its main objectives include the promotion of professional standards through training and experience sharing, influencing policy decisions to facilitate the development of a strong microfinance industry and the establishment of local and international partnerships. For more information please visit http://www.aemfi-ethiopia.org/site/.

The Transparent Pricing Initiative in Ethiopia is sponsored by MicroNed

For questions relating to this press release please contact:
Jordan Filko
MFTransparency
+1.973.868.8375
[email protected]

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