MFTransparency and the Association of Micro Finance Institutions in Rwanda Launch Initiative in Rwanda
Third Country in the enabling APR & EIR Program
LANCASTER, PA & KIGALI, RWANDA, October 18, 2010 – On December 10,2010 MFTransparency and the Association of Micro Finance Institutions in Rwanda (AMIR) will co-host a workshop in Kigali, Rwanda to launch the Transparent Pricing Initiative in Rwanda, the third country in the MasterCard Foundation-funded enabling APR & EIR Program.
In this workshop, Alexandra Fiorillo, Vice President of MFTransparency, will provide training on pricing transparency to a range of local industry stakeholders including microfinance institutions, regulators, funders and other support organizations. The event in Kigali will mark the launch of the Transparent Pricing Initiative in Rwanda, during which MFTransparency will collect and publish pricing data for microfinance products offered in Rwanda. 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.
The Transparent Pricing Initiative in Rwanda will also mark the launch of the third 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, Malawi was the first country of the enabling APR & EIR Program to begin the Transparent Pricing Initiative. The Initiative in Malawi has progressed with strong industry participation since its launch in August.
“Since its inception, AMIR has been a strong unifying force in the Rwandan microfinance industry,” said Alexandra Fiorillo. “We believe AMIR will be a valuable partner in facilitating dialogue and bringing Rwandan microfinance practitioners together to promote transparency.”
“Transparency is a core business value and an indispensable tool in serving the poor and vulnerable. MFTransparency has come at the right time for the correct purpose and intent,” said Faustin Zihiga, Chairman of AMIR.
The Association of Micro Finance Institutions in Rwanda, in operation since 2007, has been a key driver of the development of the Rwandan microfinance industry. Programs led by the network have helped a diverse set of microfinance service providers make great strides in capacity building. Other issues AMIR has addressed, including advocacy, research and product development, have strengthened the infrastructure of the industry and created a foundation for sustainable growth. With transparency as a core value, AMIR is committed to keeping Rwandan microfinance true to its social mission.
MFTransparency is a global initiative for responsible and transparent pricing in the microfinance industry. In each country included in its Global Transparent Pricing Initiative, MFTransparency collects data on the interest and fees charged on each microfinance loan product in order to calculate the accurate, true price (Effective Interest Rate) on those loans. Its intention is to establish the industry standard for pricing disclosure, and facilitate a fair exchange between suppliers and consumers of microfinance products.
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 transparent practices and responsibility. Based in the United States, the group has organized transparent pricing efforts in Peru, Bosnia, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Azerbaijan, Kenya, Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia, India, Senegal, Burkina Faso and Malawi. 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 500 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 Micro Finance Institutions in Rwanda
The Association of Micro Finance Institutions in Rwanda (AMIR) was created in June 2007. Currently, AMIR has 84 active members serving poor and middle class families throughout the country. AMIR’s activities and services focus on capacity building, research and product development, policy and advocacy, monitoring and MIS and sustainability. The four core values underlying these activities are professionalism, transparency, unity and integrity. AMIR members have access to information on good microfinance practices through workshops and trainings and to a database on the advancement of the Rwandan microfinance sector. They also have opportunities to exchange and share experiences with various sector stakeholders including local and international microfinance institutions, international networks, NGOs and donors. For more information please visit www.rwandamicrofinance.org.
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