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Friday, 04 June 2010

Creating an international equity fund for African microfinance

A regional investment fund for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in sub-Saharan Africa (REGMIFA) was launched on 5 May 2010 in Berlin. Symbiotics Investment Manager SA, a Geneva-based company specialized in microfinance, was selected to manage this new fund. Created by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the development bank KFW, REGMIFA will have an initial budget of $150M. The fund was established to meet the medium- and long-term needs of African financial intermediaries that provide loans to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in Africa.

REGMIFA: a support fund for African microfinance institutions
Following a G8 initiative to improve access to finance in Africa, and drawn up by leading financial institutions, REGMIFA aims to develop a loan portfolio of $200M by 2014. For the first time, a fund will provide African microfinance institutions with a wide range of financial instruments. These include equity, direct loans and technical assistance to microfinance institutions, local banks and other financial institutions that provide funding for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in sub-Saharan Africa.