Johannesburg, South Africa, February 2nd
, 2015 – IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced an
advisory services agreement with Advans Cameroun to accelerate financial
inclusion in Cameroon by expanding the range and reach of services available
to underserved urban and rural populations.
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 scale up commercial microfinance and develop mobile financial services
to increase financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa.
IFC will provide advisory services worth $ 1.18 million to Advans Cameroun
over the next four years to design, pilot and roll out a branchless banking
model that will involve mini branches, mobile collectors and agents.
Access to credit is a major obstacle to the reduction of rural poverty
in Cameroon. Exclusion from financial services is particularly acute in
the agricultural sector, which employs 60 percent of the country’s population.
This is mainly due to the high cost of establishing branches in sparsely
populated areas for formal financial instituions.
Steven Duchatelle, Head of Operations for Advans Group, said, “After successfully
building a strong presence in urban centers, Advans Cameroun’s objective
is to develop its outreach in rural areas. This project will allow us to
provide easy and convenient access to financial services and solutions
for small-scale entrepreneurs, smallholder farmers and generally the low-income
Greta Bull, IFC Manager for the Financial Institutions Group Advisory Services,
Sub-Saharan Africa, said, “The agreement between IFC and Advans Cameroun
highlights the need to develop innovative financial products and delivery
channels for people in rural areas. The tools developed will have the potential
to reach over 60,000 new customers, and will have a significant impact
on their ability to access secure and affordable financial services.”
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 about 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and
influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.
In FY14, we provided more than $22 billion in financing to improve lives
in developing countries and tackle the most urgent challenges of development.
For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
About the Partnership for Financial Inclusion
The Partnership for Financial Inclusion is a joint initiative of IFC and
The MasterCard Foundation to expand microfinance and advance mobile financial
services in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Partnership is also supported by the
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Development Bank of Austria
(OeEB, Oesterreichische Entwicklungsbank AG),and collaborates with knowledge
partners such as the World Bank and the Consultative Group to Assist the
Poor, CGAP. For more information: www.ifc.org/financialinclusionafrica
About The MasterCard Foundation
The MasterCard Foundation is an independent, global organization based
in Toronto, Canada with over US$9 billion in assets. Through collaboration
with partner organizations in 49 countries, it is creating opportunities
for all people to learn and prosper. The Foundation's programs promote
financial inclusion and advance youth learning, mostly in Africa. Established
in 2006 through the generosity of MasterCard Worldwide when it became a
public company, the Foundation is a separate and independent entity. The
policies, operations and funding decisions of the Foundation are determined
by its own Board of Directors and President and CEO. For more information
on the Foundation, please visit: www.mastercardfdn.org