7 November 2012
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African Development Bank (Abidjan)

2nd Call for Proposals for the AfDB Microfinance Capacity Building Fund

press release

The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) is pleased to announce the 2nd call for proposals of the Microfinance Capacity Building Fund ("MCBF"). Award amounts will range from US $200,000 to US $500,000 per project, depending on the activity, and will be given to approximately 6-8 awardees.

We invite rating and auditing agencies, financial institutions, and network associations from West and Central Africa to apply.

Applicants from the West African Economic Monetary Union (WAEMU) are eligible to apply for grants that address issues related to rural financial development. Other countries within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) region will be considered on a case by case basis. WAEMU applicants will be able to deepen rural outreach through activities such as:

Agricultural value chain financing

Branchless and e-banking

Crop/weather insurance

Development of mobile payment systems

Diversification of the credit product range (e.g., leasing, warehouse receipt systems)

Applicants from the Economic and Monetary Union of Central Africa (CEMAC) region are eligible to apply for grants that address issues related to transparency. Beneficiaries of the fund will help increase transparency within the Microfinance Sector. A lack of transparency in the microfinance industry is a key barrier in terms of the ability of Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) to raise capital, gain confidence from clients and therefore grow, expand and deepen their outreach. The Fund seeks to support the governance of MFIs through:

External Audit: Train auditors to work with financial intermediaries in the microfinance sector; support MFIs in getting appropriate external audit services; support the design of business models that allow for services to be provided at a cost MFIs can afford.

Accounting and Financial Reporting: Train MFIs' accountants as well as external accountants to implement accounting standards, reporting and financial analysis as per local regulation as well as microfinance best practices.

Supervision: Support capacity building for supervisory bodies.

All applicants are invited to submit their proposals online before November 30, 2012.

Established on July 19, 2012 by the AfDB and the Government of Spain, the objective of this fund is to scale up the capacity of the financial sector (especially microfinance institutions) for the benefit of poor and low-income people in Africa. The MCBF is also supported by the UN Capital Development Fund (UNDF), with technical guidance provided by the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP).

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