SEEP Network, The MasterCard Foundation Launch $7.6 Million Partnership to Strengthen Sub-Saharan Africa Microfinance Groups

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The SEEP Network and The MasterCard Foundation are launching a new $7.6 million, four-year partnership to strengthen and develop the capacity of microfinance industry associations in Sub-Saharan Africa.

As microfinance scales and commercializes in Africa, there is an opportunity to support greater consumer protection and financial transparency within the industry. Microfinance associations play a key role in supporting the sustainable growth of the microfinance industry. SEEP, as the global network of networks in microfinance, serves these associations by connecting them to a global learning community and by supporting capacity building efforts.

“Client protection and transparency are essential principles of responsible microfinance,” said Reeta Roy, president and CEO of The MasterCard Foundation. “This partnership will enable African microfinance associations to mainstream client protection principles across the industry, so that clients benefit from the responsible delivery of financial services.”

Through this partnership, eight microfinance associations with a membership of nearly 500 microfinance institutions (serving, in total 6 million clients) will improve their core management capacity. The project will also advance financial transparency and consumer protection principles among microfinance institutions, and share learnings with associations across Sub-Saharan Africa to scale and sustain industry growth.

“We understand the powerful role microfinance associations can play in promoting financial inclusion and improved standards of practice” said Jenny Morgan, director of the Association Development Community of Practice at the SEEP Network. “By investing in these associations to increase transparency and develop their capacity to serve their members, clients of microfinance institutions will benefit.”

About the SEEP Network

The SEEP Network is the world’s largest community of microfinance associations. It provides global perspectives on the advancement of microfinance ensuring relevance with respect to local needs, broad participation, and leadership of practitioners. Members are connected in a global learning community spanning 170 countries. SEEP understands the powerful role microfinance associations play in advancing the sector and believe support to local associations is one of the most strategic investments that can be made. It has a proven model developed in its 13 years of working with associations and includes a suite of relevant tools.

About The MasterCard Foundation

The MasterCard Foundation advances microfinance and youth learning to promote financial inclusion and prosperity. Through collaboration with committed partners in 48 countries, The MasterCard Foundation is helping people living in poverty to access opportunities to learn and prosper. An independent, private foundation based in Toronto, Canada, it was established through the generosity of MasterCard Worldwide at the time of the company’s initial public offering in 2006.

Source: Press Release SEEP Network (link opens in a new window)