PRESS RELEASE: Accion and MasterCard Foundation Partner to Strengthen Board Governance in Africa
Thursday, November 13, 2014
WASHINGTON, Nov. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — The Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion today announced a $6.1 millionpartnership with The MasterCard Foundation to launch the Accion Africa Board Fellowship program. Targeted at corporate board members and CEOs, the Fellowship program is designed to promote peer-to-peer learning on governance and risk management practices at financial institutions that serve low-income clients in sub-Saharan Africa.
Strong governance is widely recognized as critical to the growth and sustainability of microfinance institutions across sub-Saharan Africa, among the fastest-growing regions in the world. Through an elite network of peers, this first-of-its-kind program will address challenges such as navigating competitive markets, advancing social performance, managing both internal and external risks, and creating accountability between board and management. Addressing these challenges will promote the growth, capacity and sustainability of microfinance institutions in a region with more than 6.6 million microfinance clients.
“Accion’s vision is to build a financially inclusive world where everyone has access to the financial tools that can improve their lives—and strong governance at microfinance institutions is critical to making that vision a reality,” said Michael Schlein, President and CEO of Accion. “Our collaboration with The MasterCard Foundation will help expand access to financial services for low-income individuals, households and small businesses in sub-Saharan Africa by enabling leaders to more effectively serve their clients.