The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has sealed an agreement with Atlantic Microfinance for Africa (AMIFA), a subsidiary of the Moroccan Banque Centrale Populaire (BCP) Group, for developing new products and services to boost financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The agreement will enable AMIFA to strengthen the development capacity of its microfinance program in Sub-Saharan Africa dedicated to very small enterprises and entrepreneurs, in particular, to enhance their financial inclusion and economic integration.
Despite a remarkable increase in financial inclusion in the region, from 23 percent in 2011 to 43 percent in 2017 (Findex, 2018), a majority of adults in Sub-Saharan Africa still lack access to regulated and sustainable financial services.
Kamal Mokdad, Co-CEO, Head of the International Global Banking at BCP Group, said, “the partnership will enable us to benefit from IFC’s expertise and support in optimizing our model and delivering a microfinance program that contributes more efficiently to the financial inclusion of a significant part of the low-income population.”
AMIFA was created by BCP in 2014 to extend the reach of its microfinance services, when BCP also opened its first microfinance institution in Côte d’Ivoire. The bank has since been developing a network of microfinance institutions in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) region.
“Small-scale entrepreneurs need access to formal financial services to be able to grow their businesses to full potential,” said Riadh Naouar, Manager, IFC Financial Institutions Group Advisory, Middle East and Africa. “With its region-wide reach, this initiative by BCP Group can have a significant impact on the expansion of microfinance in West Africa,” added the IFC official.
IFC, member of the World Bank Group, and BCP Group began a partnership in 2012. Through various investment and advisory actions, IFC has supported BCP in its mission to expand access to finance for businesses to drive growth and job creation. The new partnership also confirms IFC’s commitment to supporting Moroccan companies in expanding into Sub-Saharan Africa.