MFTransparency and the Ghana Micro Finance Institutions Network to Launch the Transparent Pricing Initiative in Ghana
Fifth Country in the enabling APR & EIR Program
LANCASTER, PA & ACCRA, GHANA February 24, 2011– On Friday, February 25, 2011 MFTransparency and the Ghana Microfinance Institutions Network (GHAMFIN) will co-host a workshop in Accra, Ghana to launch the Transparent Pricing Initiative in Ghana, the third country in the MasterCard Foundation-funded enabling APR & EIR Program. A second workshop will take place on Monday February 28 in Tamale.
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 Accra will mark the launch of the Transparent Pricing Initiative in Ghana, during which MFTransparency will collect and publish pricing data for microfinance products offered in Ghana. 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 Ghana will also mark the launch of the fifth 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, South Africa, Ghana, Tanzania, Zambia 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. Pricing data for Malawi is now live on the website, with data for Uganda and Rwanda forthcoming and the Initiative in South Africa underway with a strong launch.
The Ghana Microfinance Institutions Network (GHAMFIN), as the apex network of financial institutions engaged in microfinance, has been advocating for best practices to promote the double bottom lines of these institutions. This double bottom line sustains both the sustainability of the financial objectives and the social goal underlying microfinance practices. It is in line with this that GHAMFIN is collaborating with MicroFinance Transparency to advance the Transparent Pricing Initiative in Ghana.
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 Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, Rwanda, South Africa, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Togo, Benin, Mali, Niger, India, Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Bosnia, Cambodia, Bangladesh and Azerbaijan. 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.
About the Ghana Microfinance Institutions Network
Ghana Microfinance Institutions Network (GHAMFIN) was legally registered in August 1998 as a company limited by guarantee (Non – profit). GHAMFIN is an informal network of institutions within Ghana’s Microfinance Industry. This network evolved from the concern of some Ghanaian Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) for the development of best practices in delivery of microfinance services. GHAMFIN’s vision is to be a Centre of Excellence for the Development and Promotion of Good Microfinance Practices. GHAMFIN’s membership consists of 80 regulated and non-regulated microfinance institutions that together are serving over 60,000 clients. Currently the organisation has a membership of over 40 MFIs and 6 apex bodies. GHAMFIN is governed by an 11 member Council with an Executive Secretary as the executive head.
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