MFTransparency to Bring Together Regulators of African Microfinance Markets
LANCASTER, PA USA & NAIROBI, KENYA October 4, 2011 – MFTransparency, in conjunction with Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), Luxembourg Cooperation, the African Microfinance Network (AFMIN) and the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) will host the African Microfinance Pricing Transparency Leadership Forum in Nairobi, Kenya, October 5-7. The event will bring together leading regulators, policymakers, networks and technical policy experts with the objective of facilitating the development and implementation of pricing disclosure policy for African microfinance markets. Professor Njuguna Ndung’u, Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya, will be the keynote speaker.
The African Microfinance Pricing Transparency Leadership Forum will provide policymakers and regulators with the opportunity to exchange their experiences in facilitating client protection and pricing disclosure in the microfinance industry. Attendees will represent more than 20 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as a range of experts from other regions. The content of the event is as follows:
- Training on pricing transparency calculations and pricing disclosure policy development by MFTransparency pricing experts
- Working sessions covering themes such as financial education, standards for reporting and pricing formulas for effective disclosure
- Development of action plans for applying the learnings of the event to the development of pricing disclosure policy
The African Microfinance Pricing Transparency Leadership Forum is organized by a Steering Committee composed of representatives of MFTransparency, AFD, AFMIN, CGAP and UNCDF. It is funded by lead donor AFD with additional support from Luxembourg Cooperation and UNCDF.
“Transparent and comparable pricing is key to the protection of microfinance clients,” said Yves Boudot, Director of AFD’s Sub-Saharan Africa Department. “This Forum constitutes a unique opportunity for African Microfinance Leaders to exchange experiences and develop policies for transparent pricing disclosure in their local markets. It will help to build standards for the African microfinance industry and for donors committed to fostering responsible practices in microfinance.”
The African Microfinance Pricing Transparency Leadership Forum is part of a larger MFTransparency initiative, also funded by AFD, called the African Regulator Project. Through this project MFTransparency seeks a lasting impact on the policy and practice of pricing disclosure and client protection in microfinance in Africa. Our goal is to work with policymakers and regulators so that the interests of different stakeholder groups, including clients, financial institutions and funders, are met in a strong, transparent microfinance industry.
Please note that this is a closed event. Attendance is by invitation only.
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. More than 870 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 Agence Française de Développement (AFD)
AFD stands for the Agence Française de Développement. AFD is a public development finance institution that has worked to fight poverty and support economic growth in developing countries and the French Overseas Communities for almost 70 years. AFD executes the French government’s development aid policies.Through offices in more than fifty countries and nine French Overseas Communities, AFD provides financing and support for projects that improve people’s living conditions, promote economic growth and protect the planet: schooling, maternal healthcare, help for farmers and small business, water supply, access to financial services, preservation of tropical forests, and fighting climate change, among other concerns.In 2010, AFD committed more than €6.8 billion to financing aid activities in developing and emerging countries and the French Overseas Communities. The funds will help provide primary schooling for 13.4 million children, improve drinking water access for 33 million people and grant microloans benefiting more than 700,000 people.
About Luxembourg Cooperation
For more than 15 years, Luxembourg 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 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. Please visit http://cooperation.mae.lu/fr for more information.
UNCDF is the UN’s capital investment agency for the world’s 48 least developed countries.
It creates new opportunities for poor people and their small businesses by increasing access to microfinance and investment capital. UNCDF focuses on Africa and the poorest countries of Asia, with a special commitment to countries emerging from conflict or crisis.
It provides seed capital – grants and loans – and technical support to help microfinance institutions reach more poor households and small businesses, and local governments finance the capital investments – water systems, feeder roads, schools, irrigation schemes – that will improve poor peoples’ lives.
UNCDF programmes help to empower women, and are designed to catalyze larger capital flows from the private sector, national governments and development partners, for maximum impact toward the Millennium Development Goals.
The Africa Microfinance Network (AFMIN) is an African regional association of country-level microfinance networks in Africa resulting from an initiative led by African microfinance practitioners to create and/or strengthen country-level microfinance networks for the purpose of establishing shared performance standards, institutional capacity and policy change.
AFMIN was formally launched in November 2000 and established its Secretariat in Abidjan (Republic of Côte d’Ivoire), where AFMIN is legally recognized as an international Non-Governmental Organization pursuant to Ivorian laws. Because of the political unrest in Côte d’Ivoire, AFMIN temporary relocated its office to Cotonou, Benin in October 2006.
AFMIN’s mission is to contribute to the provision of effective and sustainable financial services to the low income population of Africa by supporting Country-Level Networks and their member MFIs to achieve their mission and objectives, and helping to improve the microfinance environment in Africa and globally.
CGAP is an independent policy and research center dedicated to advancing financial access for the world’s poor. It is supported by over 30 development agencies and private foundations who share a common mission to alleviate poverty. Housed at the World Bank, CGAP provides market intelligence, promotes standards, develops innovative solutions and offers advisory services to governments, financial service providers, donors, and investors. For more information, please see www.cgap.org
For questions relating to this press release please contact:
Jordan Filko | MFTransparency | +1.973.868.8375 | [email protected]