Antananarivo, Madagascar, September
19, 2008—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is working with Madagascar’s
AccésBanque and MicroCred to increase access to financial services for
more than 62,000 low-income entrepreneurs. In collaboration with IFC, the
two banks plan to extend more than $50 million in loans to reach the country’s
smallest businesses over the next three years.
As part of this effort, IFC, AccésBanque,
and MicroCred hosted a panel discussion for participants from Madagascar’s
financial sector to explore how commercial microfinance can help expand
Michel Iams, CEO of MicroCred Madagascar,
said, “Microfinance institutions provide valuable support to small businesses
in developing countries, as well as help create jobs and reduce poverty.”
Martin Spahr, CEO of AccésBanque Madagascar,
added, “Our partnership with IFC enables us to provide financial services
for more Malagasy entrepreneurs, helping them grow their businesses.”
James Scriven, IFC Director of Global
Financial Markets for Africa and Latin America, said, “Commercially viable
and responsible microfinance policies are an important part of IFC’s strategy
to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. We are committed to ensuring
that microfinance reaches the people who need it most.”
In May 2007, IFC invested in and began
providing advisory services to AccésBanque and MicroCred as part of a broader
program to establish new commercial microfinance institutions in Africa
and reach more borrowers in the poorest countries. IFC is also working
closely with clients, development finance institutions, and other partners
to develop a set of microfinance standards and best practices that will
outline prohibited practices, educate borrowers about loan terms and interest
rates, and provide guidelines for disclosure and transparency.
IFC’s microfinance sector strategy
focuses on creating and supporting commercially viable microfinance institutions
that can attract the private capital needed to scale up and respond to
unmet demands. IFC is a leading international investor in microfinance
institutions, and works with more than 100 institutions in over 60 countries.
IFC’s cumulative committed portfolio in microfinance projects is $942
million as of June 2008.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives.
We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting
private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory
and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments
totaled $16.2 billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous
year. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
Madagascar joined IFC in 1963. Since
then, IFC has invested $103 million in 20 projects in the country.