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IFC, The MasterCard Foundation and MicroCred Advance Rural Microfinance Services in Madagascar and Senegal


In Johannesburg:
Anna Koblanck

Phone: +27 11 731 3078

E-mail:
akoblanck@ifc.org

In Washington, DC:

Sona Panajyan

Phone: +1 202 473-9751

E-mail:
spanajyan@ifc.org


Johannesburg, South Africa, January 19, 2014—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, signed two agreements with MicroCred Madagascar and MicroCred Senegal, valued at $3.2 million combined, to strengthen the supply of affordable financial services to clients in rural areas.

The project is part of the Partnership for Financial Inclusion, a joint $37.4 million initiative by IFC and The MasterCard Foundation that aims to expand the availability of commercial microfinance and develop mobile financial services to increase financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Mark Flaming, Chief Operating Officer of MicroCred Group, said, “The Partnership for Financial Inclusion is supporting MicroCred’s ambition to make financial services easier to access for the entire population. In addition to funding, we are benefiting from the advisory services and expertise of IFC and the collegial exchange with other Partnership clients.”


People who live in rural areas in Madagascar and Senegal remain mostly excluded from financial services due to the prohibitively high cost for banks and microfinance institutions to establish remote branch networks to serve a disparate clientele. That means rural communities lack safe means to save money, as well as access to credit for investment in farming and small-scale businesses. They often have to spend considerable effort and resources just to reach urban centers in order to transact money.


IFC will provide advisory services for three years to both MicroCred Madagascar and MicroCred Senegal to help develop mobile financial services to increase outreach in rural areas. In Senegal, IFC will also support MicroCred’s product development to address the lack of microfinance products adapted specifically to the needs of the rural clientele.

David Crush, Manager of IFC Access to Finance in Sub-Saharan Africa said, “Access to finance is an important catalyst for development. Making financial services available in underserved rural communities is critical to achieving the goal of universal financial access to all working-age adults by 2020.”


It is estimated that within three years MicroCred Madagascar will have reached an additional 207,000 low-income individuals and small-scale entrepreneurs primarily outside urban centers, while MicroCred Senegal will have added 127,000 new clients.

About MicroCred Group

MicroCred was founded by Arnaud Ventura in 2005 with the support of investors such as PlaNet Finance, AXA, IFC and SocGen. The group offers specialized financial services for small and micro entrepreneurs, as well as a wide range of financial services adapted to the needs of the majority of the population who have no access to appropriate financial services. It has operations in Cote d’Ivoire, Madagascar, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal in Sub-Saharan Africa, and in China.


About the Partnership for Financial Inclusion

In January 2012 IFC and The MasterCard Foundation launched the $37.4 million Partnership for Financial Inclusion to bring financial services to an estimated 5.3 million previously unbanked people in Sub-Saharan Africa in five years. The program aims to develop sustainable microfinance business models that can deliver large-scale low-cost banking services, and provides technical assistance to mobile network operators, banks and payments systems providers in order to accelerate the development of low-cost mobile financial services. To find out more, please visit
www.ifc.org/financialinclusionafrica

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in more than 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. In FY13, our investments climbed to an all-time high of nearly $25 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org

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