Johannesburg, South Africa, June 08, 2013
- IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced it will provide
advisory services to help microfinance institution FINCA DRC expand low-cost
financial services in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The project is
funded by a $1.8 million grant from The MasterCard Foundation.
IFC and The MasterCard Foundation will work
with FINCA DRC to expand financial services to low-income individuals and
smaller businesses in the country, which suffered through years of civil
war and has one of the lowest rates of access to financial services in
the world. There are currently fewer than 600,000 bank accounts for a population
of 67 million.
David Crush, IFC Manager for Access to Finance
Advisory Services in Sub-Saharan Africa said, ”Microfinance helps low
income clients build assets, increase income and reduce their vulnerability.
That is more important in post-conflict countries than anywhere else. By
supporting FINCA DRC to expand, IFC aims to help rebuild and strengthen
one of the most fragile economies in Sub-Saharan Africa.”
While mainstream commercial banks in the DRC
almost exclusively serve large corporate clients, FINCA DRC focuses on
providing financial services to the small-scale entrepreneurs that constitute
the larger part of the informal economy. It currently operates in four
regions of the country, through a network of 13 branches. About 50 percent
of its customers are women.
IFC will provide advisory services for three
years to assist FINCA DRC develop branchless banking channels and new products
so it can increase reach and mobilize savings.
The project is part of the Partnership for
Financial Inclusion with The MasterCard Foundation, which aims to scale
up microfinance and accelerate the development of mobile financial services
in Sub-Saharan Africa to reach a total of 5.3 million previously unbanked
customers on the continent by 2017.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing
countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing
capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services
to businesses and governments. In FY12, our investments reached an all-time
high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector
to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world’s most pressing
development challenges. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.