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The programme

EU/ACP MICROFINANCE was launched in January 2005 under the 9th EDF, while microfinance was already considered an effective development tool. It aimed at developing the sector in ACP countries according to the following specific objectives:

  1. Building and strengthening the capacity of microfinance actors;
  2. Promoting the rating of microfinance institutions to increase transparency and encourage the improvement of their information systems;
  3. Promoting efficiency and transparency of the microfinance market.


The programme ended in December 2010 with the following results:

  • 150% increase in people served by partner MFIs, reaching more than 775,000 clients;
  • 11 African countries and Central Banks from West and Central Africa received technical advice on their regulatory and legal framework for microfinance;
  • 90 MFIs benefited from a rating;
  • 20 MFIS received information Technology (IT) advice;
  • 40 MFIs were strengthened (DRC, Ghana, Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Senegal, Togo, Mali, Niger, Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe);
  • 2 start-up MFIs were created (Madagascar and Cameroon);
  • More than 500 MFI staff were trained across Africa;
  • 50 microfinance training scholarships were awarded to ACP policy makers.

To find out more about the EU/ACP Microfinance Programme:

Read the « 27 ideas worth talking about for building capacity in microfinance pdf - 2 MB [2 MB] français (fr) », made in October 2008, following a peer learning event gathering the 11 grantees from the Call for Proposals.

The actions

Following a Call for Proposals process, the programme awarded 11 grants to: Urwego, Opportunity International, Procredit, Aquadev, Mifed, KDA, SIDI, Triodos, AMFIU, LFS and Horus.

The programme co-sponsored two regional projects: Carib Cap in the Caribbean, in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) and PFIP the Pacific, in partnership with UNDP UNCDF (United Nations Programme for Development).

Training activities were undertaken in partnership with the International Training Centre of the International Labour Organisation (ITC ILO); trainings of financial journalists were conducted in partnership with Deutsche Welle, Making Finance Work for Africa and Transtec.

Finally, the partnership programme with CGAP allowed to promote the rating of MFIs and access to information systems and appropriate management, as well as the efficiency and transparency on the microfinance market.


1- Building and strengthening the capacities of microfinance actors

Diversifying financial services

URWEGO, Microfinance Institution (MFI) from Rwanda: creation of new savings products in Rwanda and training of MFIs in Burundi and DRC.

Opportunity International UK: capacity building actions through the development of products such as microinsurance or money transfers in MFIs in Ghana, Mali, Mozambique, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Implementing of new technologies


Procredit: introduction of ATMs in DRC, in order to facilitate access to financial services in a difficult, post-conflict, environment.

Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP): pilote projects using new technologies to expand the outreach of financial services within the Pacific Islands.

Expending services to rural and remote areas

Aquadev and Etimos: strengthening of financial service providers operating in rural areas of Senegal.


MIFED and CIDR capacity building and support to the Caisses Villageoises d'Epargne et de Crédit (CVECA) network in Cameroon.

KDA and Africa Now capacity building of financial services associations in rural areas of Kenya.

SIDI, Alterfin  and MAIN : development and strengthening of service provision and awareness raising to MFIs operating in remote areas of Africa and Haiti.

Improving transparency

Triodos International Fund Management and Facet: strengthening of risk management and social reporting of African MFIs (SMARTRAC).


AMFIU: improvement of consumer protection in Uganda, in the framework of its global initiative for transparency.


LFS Financial Systems: creation of Accès Banque in Madagascar.

Horus Development Finance: creation of Advans in Cameroon.


Developing local capacities

Carib Cap: capacity building of MFIs and creation of a network of microfinance stakeholders in the Anglophone region of the Caribbean.

International Training Centre of the International Labour Organisation (ITC ILO):
Professional training to policy makers, managers and trainers in order to participate to an enabling environment for microfinance and ensure local competences.

Making Finance Work for Africa: training to local journalists in order to ensure the dissemination of financial and microfinancial issues with a local point of view.


2- Promoting the rating of microfinance institutions to increase transparency and encourage the improvement of their information systems


Rating Fund co-financing of over 90 MFI-ratings from 2006 to 2008, in order improve the quality, reliability and availability of the information on risk and performance of MFIs.


Management Information System (MIS) programme aiming at providing adapted information and advice to MFIs on the choice and use of the MIS best suited to their needs.


3- Promoting efficiency and transparency of the microfinance market.

CGAP: contribution to the promotion of good practices in ACP countries. Development of market infrastructure, support to MFI capacity building, diversification of products.


Following a positive mid-term review pdf - 738 KB [738 KB] and analysis of the experience and lessons learned from the first programme pdf - 479 KB [479 KB] , the European Commission and the ACP Secretariat decided to launch ACP/EU MICROFINANCE in January 2010.



Last update: 12/07/2012 | Top