MFTransparency and the Association of Microfinance Institutions of Uganda Launch Initiative in Uganda
Second Country in the enabling APR & EIR Program
LANCASTER, PA & KAMPALA, UGANDA, October 18, 2010 – On December 3, 2010 MFTransparency and the Association of Microfinance Institutions of Uganda (AMFIU) will co-host a workshop in Kampala, Uganda to launch the Transparent Pricing Initiative in Uganda, the second country in the MasterCard Foundation-funded enabling APR & EIRProgram. Two additional workshops will be held in Mbarara and Gulu on December 6 and 8, respectively.
In these workshops, 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 Kampala will mark the launch of the Transparent Pricing Initiative in Uganda, during which MFTransparency will collect and publish pricing data for microfinance products offered in Uganda. 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 Uganda will also mark the launch of the second 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.
“The support of an organization as innovative as AMFIU will bring the Transparent Pricing Initiative in Uganda to the next level,” said Alexandra Fiorillo. “Our shared focus on consumer education and transparency will ensure the deep, lasting impact of this Initiative on the Ugandan microfinance industry.”
“The promotion of consumer protection and consumer financial education confirms that an informed customer is the best customer for the sustainability of the service provider,” said David T. Baguma, ED of AMFIU. “Therefore, this Transparent Pricing Initiative will greatly enhance trust and good microfinance business in Uganda.”
The Association of Microfinance Institutions of Uganda, in operation for nearly 15 years, has always been a pioneer for change in the microfinance market in Uganda. In addition to advocating the interests of its members, AMFIU has established several groundbreaking programs targeting hard to reach populations such as those affected by HIV/AIDS and people with disabilities. AMFIU has also emphasized transparency and consumer protection by establishing performance reporting standards and a consumer code of practice.
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 Microfinance Institutions of Uganda
The Association if Microfinance Institutions of Uganda (AMFIU), started in 1996 in Kampala, Uganda, is a member-owned and member-founded organization. AMFIU currently has 117 member institutions, of which 79 are MFIs and 39 are industry support organizations. AMFIU’s mission is to enhance the sustainable delivery of inclusive micro-finance services in Uganda. Towards this end AMFIU engages in a number of different activities including research and advocacy, capacity building, consumer education, information dissemination, performance monitoring and complaint handling. AMFIU also strives to help Ugandan MFIs reach difficult populations with programs focused on HIV/AIDS affected individuals and people with disabilities. AMFIU partners with a wide range of local and international organizations to achieve its mission.
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