MFTransparency and the Grameen Crédit Agricole Microfinance Foundation to Host the West African Transparent Pricing Workshop in Senegal
LANCASTER, PA USA & DAKAR, SENEGAL February 25, 2011 – MFTransparency and the Grameen Crédit Agricole Microfinance Foundation have partnered to host the West African Transparent Pricing Workshop on Thursday, March 3rd in Dakar, Senegal. This groundbreaking event will bring together microfinance practitioners, networks, government officials and regulators for a one-day training workshop to promote pricing transparency standards followed by a half-day conference on current topics in West African microfinance markets.
The West African Transparent Pricing Workshop is jointly organized by MFTransparency, the Grameen Crédit Agricole Microfinance Foundation, the African Microfinance Network (AFMIN), the International Network of Alternative Financial Institutions (INAFI), the Association des Systèmes Financiers Décentralisés du Sénégal (APSFD) and Agence Nationale Chargée de la Promotion de l’Investissement et des Grands Travaux (APIX).
Microfinance institutions, networks, government officials and regulators will participate in a full day of training workshops on standards in transparent pricing. The sessions will focus on issues related to microloan pricing, interest rate disclosure and consumer protection regulation, tailored specifically to the characteristics of microfinance markets under BCEAO supervision.
With an emphasis on working sessions and trainings, this conference is designed to provide regulators with the skills they need to develop effective policy measures for client protection and interest rate disclosure in microfinance. “Direct communication between all market players is key for a strong microfinance industry,” explained MFTransparency Vice President Alexandra Fiorillo. “The West African Transparent Pricing Workshop will focus on building relationships between stakeholders, as the successful implementation of new policy is a necessarily inclusive process.” MFTransparency will additionally provide participants with tools and educational materials to ensure that the policy development started at this conference transitions into a continuous process for structural change.
MFTransparency’s Transparent Pricing Initiative in West Africa is well underway in Senegal, Burkina Faso, Benin and Togo, recently launched in Niger and Mali as well. This presents a rare opportunity for an industry-wide dialogue on transparent pricing supported by learnings from MFTransparency‘s work with a range of stakeholders in these markets. MFTransparency’s experience in the region will allow experts to design sessions that speak to current issues and trends in the microfinance markets of West Africa.
The movement for transparent pricing in West Africa is advancing, and all members of the microfinance ecosystem must be involved in institutionalizing its progress. Through this event, MFTransparency will engage a range of players in the West African microfinance market in taking steps toward making transparent and responsible pricing in West African microfinance a reality.
About Grameen Crédit Agricole Microfinance Foundation
The Grameen Crédit Agricole Microfinance Foundation was established in 2008 on the joint initiative of Crédit Agricole and Profesor Yunus with a donation of €50 million from Crédit Agricole S.A. The Foundation’s mission is to assist microfinance institutions (MFIs) and to facilitate social business projects in developing countries. As part of a long-term partnership, it supplies these institutions with local currency loans and guarantees and helps them to boost their equity capital. Priority is given to MFIs specializing in agriculture and rural activities as well as those dealing essentially with women.
Since its inception, the Foundation has approved 27 projects in fifteen countries including three projects in Senegal, for a cumulative commitment of € 24 million.
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 fair practices and responsibility. Based in the United States, the group has organized transparent pricing efforts in Senegal, Burkina Faso, Togo, Benin, Mali, Niger, Malawi, Uganda, Rwanda, South Africa, Kenya, India, Bosnia, Peru, Cambodia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina and Colombia. For more information please visit www.mftransparency.org. Grameen Bank’s Dr. Muhammad 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 the Transparent Pricing Initiative. For information on the MFTransparency team, please see our Who We Are page.
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Development & Communications Associate