IFC Supports New Microfinance Institutions in Cameroon and Ghana to Increase Access to Financial Services
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced that it will invest in and provide advisory services to two new microfinance institutions in Cameroon and Ghana to help improve their financial infrastructure and bring financial services to more people and businesses. The projects were recently approved by IFC’s Board of Directors as part of an initiative to support several new microfinance institutions in Africa.
IFC will invest equity of up to 265 million Central African francs (about $540,000) and up to 480,000 Ghanaian cedis (about $520,000) in Advans Cameroon and Advans Ghana respectively, two greenfield microfinance institutions. Both institutions were recently formed by Advans S.A. SICAR, formerly known as La Fayette Investissement, a company based in Luxembourg that makes equity investments in newly established and early-stage microfinance institutions in developing countries. IFC’s equity investments are expected to be followed by loans to support each of the new institutions’ portfolio growth.
IFC’s support will also include an advisory services package to help introduce microfinance best practices; ensure adherence to international social, environmental, and anti-money laundering standards; and train local staff. Horus Development Finance, Advans’ technical partner, will provide the advisory services.
“Microfinance institutions provide valuable support to entrepreneurs and small businesses in developing countries and play a key role in helping improve the financial infrastructure,” said Claude Falgon, Manager of Advans. “Working with IFC will enable us to reach the underserved segment of the financial market, as well as contribute to creating employment and reducing poverty.”
“IFC’s investments in Advans Cameroon and Advans Ghana are part of our global strategy to support the commercial viability of small and medium enterprises,” said Jyrki Koskelo, IFC Vice President for Africa and Global Financial Markets. “Well-managed microfinance institutions that are commercially viable help create a sustainable financial architecture that can provide financial services to all segments of the population.”
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