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
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