Press Releases

IFC Helps Increase Access to Finance for Madagascar’s Smallest Businesses

In Antananarivo:
Chantal Andriamilamina
Phone: +26120 225 6000

In Johannesburg:
Houtan Bassiri
Phone: +2711 731 3179

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 the sector.

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.

About IFC
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

Madagascar joined IFC in 1963. Since then, IFC has invested $103 million in 20 projects in the country.