Announcements

Registration open for MFI Technical Service Providers Certification Training

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Registration open for Certificate in Digital Money course -2018

AEMFI is pleased to announce that registration for Certificate in Digital Money Course for the sixth cohort is now open.

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Call for Papers: Microfinance Development Review

The Association of Ethiopian Microfinance Institutions (AEMFI) is planning to publish its Microfinance Development Review (MFDR) Volume 12, No.1.

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Articles

Why Social Performance Management is important

By managing both their social and financial performance MFIs can be effective in achieving their social and financial performance MFIs can be effective in achieving their social mission and growing into sustainable businesses.

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Program management unit perform the following activities to in the year 2010 in line with its responsibilities given to it.

  • Knowledge Management and Information Dissemination
  • Conducting Workshops and Conference and General Assembly
  • Fund Raising
  • Networking

Knowledge Management and Information Dissemination

Promote the industry through Radio Program

The network has been disseminating and transmitting the performance and challenges of Ethiopian MFIs through Ethiopia Radio once in a week for 30 minutes. The program enables the public, stakeholders, and other partners to understand and have knowledge about the industry. Due to budget constraint the program was stopped however, with the financial support of Oxfam Novib, AEMFI is planning to negotiate with Ethiopia Radio and Television Agency to provide us modest charge and promote the industry. Besides, the performance of SACCOs and the impact will be disseminated and broadcasted to the wider public.

Produce a Documentary Film

The main purpose of this activity is to bring best practices and challenges of the microfinance industry and share experiences among microfinance practitioners throughout Ethiopia and the rest of the world. In this activity the target group will be clients, practitioners, regulators and other stakeholders. By doing so, MFIs have opportunity to share experiences. In addition the public will get information about the performance of microfinance institution. Promotion of the industry is weak and this project will contribute towards this end.

Promote the industry using printed media (news letter, publications, providing articles to private/government media agencies)

The network has been conducting action oriented researches that have positively influenced the policy environment and the efficiency of the microfinance industry. AEMFI’s research outputs, occasional papers, proceedings of annual conferences and microfinance workshops will be disseminating using printed media which included the publication of occasional papers, proceedings the bulletin and scientific journal.

Publish bulletin and Occasional Papers

AEMFI has been disseminating information using printed and non printed materials. To this end, the network is planning to print bi-annual bulletin which contains various articles talking about the development and microfinance issues. Besides, AEMFI will print the research outputs and make it available for the wider public.

Publish Proceedings

The papers which have been presented in the 6th bi-annual conference will be compiled, edited and published as a proceeding.

Conference and Workshop

Organize Bi-annual Conference and Annual General Assembly

AEMFI conducts its bi-annual conference to address industrial challenges and opportunities, and prioritize the need to initiate specific initiatives that would enhance industrial development. In line with this, AEMFI will organize its 6th biannual conference and Annual General Assembly in Dire Dawa. Dire Dawa and Harar Microfinance Institutions will host the event. There will be paper presentations including field visits. The conference will last between 2-3 days. Moreover, the annual general assembly of AEMFI will be part of the event.

Organize Workshop Gender Mainstreaming in Finance

With the aim and interest to mainstream women empowerment, enhance women’s access to financial intermediation and encourage the promotion of gender sensitivity, the network conducted a base line survey. As per the findings of the study and also to spread head gender justice issues in the microfinance sector, the network is planning to support the institutions in organizing training of trainers on gender sensitivity for member MFIs. This training will be organized in soliciting gender resource person from outside. The training will take a maximum of one week period.

Develop Gender Policy for AEMFI

In line with the above description and study conducted by the network, AEMFI is planning to have its own gender policy. This will enable and assist in the promotion of gender issues and also assist the empowerment of women within the network. The policy will be prepared by independent consultant.

Develop Gender Policy for Several MFIs

Moreover, AEMFI will take the responsibility to hire independent consultant and facilitate the preparation of gender policy for a several MFIs particularly those who show interest and submit their action plan to the network. These MFIs will get the priority in the preparation of gender policy within their respected institutions.

Develop HIV/AIDS policy for the Network and Member MFIs

With the financial support of Oxfam Novib AEMFI conducted a study entitled “The Impact of HIV/AIDS on Microfinance Institutions in Ethiopia”. Based on the recommendations and action plan, the network, decided to implement some of the activities such as preparation of HIV/AIDS policy for the network and also coordinate to member MFIs phase by phase.

Organize Social Performance Workshop

The network is planning to strengthen and expand its SPM initiatives by way of organizing workshops to share the best practice experiences of microfinance institutions. The workshop will take two days this includes sharing the experience of member MFIs who started implementing SPM in their respected institutions.

Organize Micro Insurance Workshop

The network aims to limit poor households vulnerability levels and concurrently has an interest in maintaining high level of sustainability within the microfinance industry. Hence, the network supports the design and development of efficient and demand driven micro insurance products. Thus, the network will conduct a study on client vulnerabilities and mitigating risk factors. The findings of the study will be presented in a one day workshop.

Prepare Project Proposal

As it is known that the network has to solicit and secure funding for its day to day activities. To this end, the unit will prepare a proposal and submit for different donors who can support the network in particular the entire industry.

Performance Related

Performance Monitoring

This unit will collect, analyze and disseminate pertinent industry performance data as follows:

  • Collect and summarize financial and operational data of microfinance institutions to develop quarterly basic performance and outreach reports.
  • Collect audited financial statements from microfinance institutions to develop the annual industrial performance bulletin.
  • Forward audited financial statements and specific operational data of microfinance institutions to Microfinance Information eXchange (MIX) to enhance the transparency and visibility of Ethiopian MFIs.
  • Evaluate the performance of MFIs in relation to the achievements of MFI linkages with the Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP). Performance indicators will be defined based on the outcome of a Quarter 1 PSNP survey (Survey to assess the extent to which food insecure households are being effectively targeted by existing intervention programmes).

Social Performance Monitoring:

This Unit will carry out the following Social Performance Monitoring (SPM) initiatives:

  • Organize SPM Best Practice / Experience Sharing workshop : The workshop will share experiences and explore best practices of Terafina partners implementing SPM.
  • Organize SPM Concepts workshop : The workshop will enhance understanding of SPM in order to translate SPM objectives into action.
  • Develop standardized SPM reporting indicators : The industry will arrive at a consensus regarding SPM indicators in order to standardize the SPM reporting process.

Funds Development

The Unit will enhance the capacity of AEMFI and the sector as follows:

  • Indentify new donors and development agencies that are willing to support specific capacity building and technical assistance initiatives that will strengthen AEMFI and the microfinance sector.

Miscellaneous Activities:

The Unit will perform the following miscellaneous activities:

  • Publish and distribute AEMFIs 5-year Strategic Plan :The Strategic Plan was developed however it must be published and distributed to key stakeholders to enhance AEMFIs transparency.
  • Update the MIX Monitor Toolkit Application : The MIX Toolkit Application is used by this Unit to analyze the performance of member MFIs, however, the application is outdated and numerous errors within the application were detected requiring the Unit to perform many of the calculations manually. The Unit therefore, will contact the MIX to update the MIX Toolkit Application for use in performance analysis.
  • Local exposure visit (Tigray/Oromia) to share best practice experiences in linking PSNP activities with microfinance institutions : Experience sharing visits to REST/DECSI and OCSSCO, institutions that are implementing PSNP programmes, will enhance understanding of the integration of Productive Safety Net Programmes into the microfinance model.
  • International Exposure Visit: African best practices experience in linking PSNP with microfinance institutions : The integration of PSNP will be investigated from an international perspective (Africa or Asia).

Note: The implementation of this activity is dependent upon accessing hard currency.

 

In line with the organizational objective, the training unit plans to undertake the following specific activities in the year 2010.

  • Training of Training (TOT) for microfinance practitioners to ensure that Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) beneficiaries become independent and self-sufficient
  • Training of Training (TOT) for practitioners on credit Risk Management to insure that institutions mitigate risks involved with providing financial services to PSNP beneficiaries
  • Workshop on Value Chain
  • Training on BRS
  • Workshop on linking financial service providers with PSNP actors to facilitate effective coordination of financial service providers and the PSNP supporters and implementers
  • Organizing training on the Basics of Micro-Insurance
  • Exposure Visits

Training of Training (TOT)

As a development-oriented program the PSNP is expected to enhance the livelihood of food insecure households. Therefore, appropriate financial products and services should be developed to assist the PSNP graduates in engaging in sustainable micro-enterprises once they exit the programme. In order to support the microfinance practitioners to ensure that Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) beneficiaries become independent and self-sufficient, the network will organize a Training of Trainers.

Training of Training (TOT) on Credit Risk Management

The PSNP permits MFIs to provide unique credit and savings schemes to vulnerable households. In order to address the issue and also to strengthen the capacity of MFIs, to properly evaluate and manage the risk of PSNP beneficiaries the network will organize a Training of Trainers (TOT).

Training on BRS

AEMFI in collaboration with Terafina will organize BRS training.

Workshop on Value Chain

AEMFI in collaboration with Terafina will organize a workshop on Value Chain.

Workshop on Linking Financial Service Providers with PSNP

This workshop is intended to facilitate coordination between financial service providers and PSNP supporters and implementers. Stakeholders will be invited to discuss possible challenges and solutions in implementing this program.

Exposure Visits

Local exposure visit

It is hoped that one visit covering two MFIs can be organized. This is because both MFIs are small with few branches and are operating in close proximity. Approximately 30 participants are expected to take part in this program. AEMFI will coordinate and plan the visit with the concerned MFIs and determine the objectives and specific activities before hand. AEMFI can consider a six days program with five days devoted to business and one day for excursion visit to one or more of the attractions in the region.

Exposure visit for Board of Directors

It is hoped that one international visit will be conducted, to enable Board of Directors gain and/or share experience on Microfinance issues of governance and strategic planning. AEMFI will organize and coordinate a four days program in one of the neighboring countries, preferably Kenya.

Exposure visit for AEMFI staff

AEMFI will organize an exposure visit to MFIs, Cooperatives, microfinance banks and networks that have solid best practices. The staffs are expected to share the results of experiences of the exposure visits to members.

Management Information System Activities

  • Follow up IT technology readiness program
  • Follow up remittance program in the three MFIs ACSI, DECSI and OCSSCO
  • Training in technology development
  • Follow up Village Phone Program
  • Follow up M-Birr program

Maintain and update AEMFI website

Arrange and organize the resource center

  • Acquisition of books and non book materials
  • Catalog and index of all items under the Resource Center
  • Data base design and its various functions

Organize a Training in Technology Development

AEMFI and Grameen Foundation has agreed to work and strengthen the capacity of member MFIs in organizing Technology Skills Training (TST) that introduce a new technology readiness program. It was planned to implement a Technology Skills Training that would reach five influential MFIs, but this is not feasible with the RUFIP funding. However, Grameen Foundation in partnership with AEMFI plans to work by providing training, on-site consulting and mentorship to MFIs. The pilot program will run for nine months, in 2010.

Follow up Remittance program in the three MFIs ACSI, DECSI and OCSSCO

The goal of project is to improve the remittance and other financial services available to Ethiopian immigrants in the USA and to link them to other financial services and products. The project will enable MFIs (ACSI, DECSI, OCSSCO). The program started by Oxfam Novib in partnership Microfinance International Corporation (MFIC) and AEMFI. The agreement signed and Marketing plans develop between MFIC and the three MFIs. MFIC is planned to donate Point of Sale Device to the three MFIs , on behalf of MFIs, AEMFI write letter to NBE in order to receive POS.

Follow up Development of MFIs Software (MIFOs) by Omni-Tech PLC

The project is organized with the aid of CDE in collaboration with AEMFI to implement MIFOS in members MFIs, OMNITECH has been selected by CDE to execute the task adopting MIFOs. Omni-tech, PLC completed their assessment of the MIS needs of microfinance institutions in Ethiopia. Second phase approval from CDE remains pending at the same time Grammen Foundation plan to support this project.

Follow up Village Phone Program

Village Phone is a methodology that creates a profitable partnership and a channel to market to bring telecommunication services to the rural poor in countries. Connect Ethiopia an Irish initiatives have discussed with AEMFI on the implementation of village phone in the country. To this end, Connect Ethiopia conducted a feasibility study in Tigray Region particularly to wok with DECSI and submitted to Ethiopian Telecommunication Corporation (ETC). In this regard, AEMFI and Connect Ethiopia waiting the decision from ETC.

Follow up M-Birr program

M-Birr is a business solution coupled technology platform which is introduced by NCL- Irish based Technology Company. The unit facilitates the project and the proposed Generic MOU was signed between NCL and the five largest MFIs ACSI, DECSI, OCSSCO, ADCSI, OMO. Letter of intent is signed between NCL and ETC. The first M-Birr project meeting with the heads of the 5 largest MFIs will be held on the 9th February 2010.

Maintain and update AEMFI website

Collect Information from AEMFI staff, members and partners, Update any time when it is useful Arrange and organize the resource center During this year acquisition of Microfinance books will be from Amazon for Resource Center

Research Unit

The Unit will facilitate the following research in 2010:

  • Monitor the Performance of MFIs Engaged in PSNP initiatives Evaluate the performance of MFIs in relation to the achievements of the food security program based upon defined performance indicators (performance indicators will be defined from research in-progress)
  • The Potential for Islamic Microfinance in Ethiopia There has been growing interest in Islamic microfinance worldwide. Given the large Muslim population in Ethiopia it is important to further the understanding of Islamic microfinance and explore its potential in Ethiopia.
  • Develop a survey to document the type of products/services institutions are providing to their clients There is limited information available concerning the products and services offered by microfinance institutions and there corresponding costs. A survey will be developed to classify and define product/service offerings which will promote a greater level of transparency within the industry.
  • Impact Assessment of AEMFI This assessment will be conducted by an independent external body that will evaluate the impact and effectiveness of the Association
  • A Study on Client Vulnerabilities and Mitigating Risk Factors With the support and mitigate of the clients from risk, AEMFI aims to conduct a study and design and demand driven micro-insurance products. :
  • Baseline study on Financial Literacy The baseline study will focus on the importance of financial literacy and enhance the level of financial literacy of households throughout Ethiopia. Moreover, the study will provide a framework for implementing a financial literacy program.

Saving and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs)

With the aim of supporting and strengthen the capacity of SACCOs in the country, in 2010, the unit plans to implement the following activities:

Trainings:

  • TOT on MIS for SACCOs The aim of this training is to develop qualified trainers in the SACCOs sector in the area of management information system (MIS). It is believed that the development of MIS is very poor and it is the major problem of the sub-sector that hinders the reporting and performance monitoring in SACCOs and SACCO Unions. Therefore, bringing international level experts, this training will provide the basic knowledge on MIS so that participants will train practitioners through the country.
  • TOT Product Development Provision of demand driven financial services is the center for success and development of a financial institution. However, this is not the practice in the Ethiopian financial cooperatives sector. Therefore, this training is planned to produce a pool of trainers that can disseminate the knowledge and practice of product development in the sector and provide technical assistance in the process of developing demand driven financial products in SACCOs and SACCO Unions.

Research:

  • Assessment of Current Financial Products in RUSACCOs and Product Development The aim of this study is to find out the types of financial products the SACCOs/Unions provide to their members. The products then shall be compared to actual demands of members, especially to agricultural activities. After the assessment, the SACCOs/Union shall be advised to develop demand driven products. An effort shall be exerted in the study to find out ways of improving agricultural outreach by designing demand driven products. SACCOs shall be encouraged to provide loan services using other mechanisms other than saving collaterals. The new products will also be incorporated as part of the new business plan in each SACCO/Union and they shall be assisted in the preparation.
  • Study on the Establishment of Guarantee Fund for RUSACCOs: The only source of capital in the Ethiopian SACCOs is share capital and regular savings. However, due to the poor saving capacity of SACCO members, especially in the rural areas, these sources of capital cannot help the institution to satisfy the loan demand and other financial needs of members. Thus, shortage of loan able capital is the number one constraint in our SACCOs and SACCO Unions. Therefore, the aim of this study is to identify mechanisms by which a guaranty fund scheme is established to relieve such challenges.

Workshops:

  • Workshop on linking SACCOs with other Financial Institutions, Banks, MFIs and others : This workshop is planned to create a forum for SACCOs and other financial institutions to discuss possible ways to work together. SACCOs have a better outreach to rural and remote areas with their limited capacity whereas the services of formal financial institutions are concentrated in better infrastructure cities and towns. Therefore, it is believed that the link among them may create the opportunity to better access to capital and systems/ knowledge transfer and better outreach of financial services.
  • Workshop on the Foundation of Stakeholders’/donors Forum and discussion on their activities : There are a number of national and international organizations working on the development of financial cooperatives directly or indirectly as part of their development or humanitarian interventions in addition to the government’s effort. However, this interventions lack coordination and even one doesn’t know what others are doing or may not know their presence totally. Therefore, the aim of this workshop is to create a forum so that all the actors including the government office discuss issues together and know each other what is done by whom and lobby together for an enabling environment for the development of the sector.
  • Workshop on the Regulatory System of Financial Cooperatives, SACCOs : Currently, Ethiopia has a good policy framework, proclamation 147/98, which encourages the development of cooperatives in the country considering the ICA principles and values of cooperatives. However, this general proclamation issued for the promotion and organization of all cooperative types can not address the specific issues raised by each cooperative types. By nature, financial cooperatives, as a financial institution, have very peculiar characteristics that cannot be addressed by the general law. Therefore, a workshop will be organized to initiate and discuss the need for a separate regulation for financial cooperatives.
  • Workshop for Sensitization of Promoters and Credit officers at Regional Level : This workshop is planned to create a common understanding and standard practice among practitioners and promoters on the basics of SACCOs’ organization, management and operations. Partly, this is a continuation of the national level “vision building” workshop conducted last year to sensitize and establish a common understanding in the sub-sector. So, this year, it will be done for Tigray and Oromia region and to Amhara region postponed from last year.
  • Annual conference on the performance of SACCOs, The aim of this workshop is to bring concerned stakeholders together to review the performance of the sector once in a year. It was planned to be conducted since 2008. However, as performance monitoring or reporting in general was a new phenomenon in the sub-sector, it took the last 2 years to establish the reporting system and the discussion on benchmarks and other pre-activities. Now, some of the SACCO unions have started to send quarterly reports and the data will be analyzed to assess the performance of the reporting SACCO unions. Therefore, this annual conference on the performance of SACCOs will be organized to discuss results and share experiences to others.

Experience sharing visit:

  • International experience sharing visit Two potential countries, Canada and Ireland are selected for this exposure visit based on their SACCO/CU development status. Both of them have a strong financial cooperatives sector and best apexes that we need to establish our proposed apex/federation based on international best experiences. Therefore, the aim of this exposure visit is to learn the best experiences for the development of a sustainable financial cooperative sector and establish a successful apex.
  • Local Exposure Visits for SACCO Practitioners There are a number of best practices in one or other areas in SACCOs and SACCO unions found in different regions of the country. In addition to forums and workshops organized to share best experiences of different institutions, we believe that a learning visit among themselves could do more to transfer knowledge and skills between them and regions. On the first round, the tour will be organized to visit 3-SACCO Unions in Amhara region; Abay Ber, Jabi and Goh. Therefore, SACCO union managers and some regional level SACCO experts will be visiting them.

Performance Monitoring and Technical Assistance to SACCOs:

  • Technical Assistances The unit has been providing technical assistance to SACCOs and SACCO union staff in the area of business planning, reporting and any other general issues. Therefore, we will continue to deliver such services to financial cooperatives in the country based on their demand.
  • Data Collection This is an ongoing activity to be done every quarter and we will continue the effort to increase the number of reporting institutions and build their reporting and overall MIS capacity. Moreover, onsite visit and data collection will be conducted to Afar regional state.
  • Publish Bi-Annual Bulletin Depending on the results of the data collection activity, the analysis report and the annual performance conference, a bulletin will be published on the performance of SACCOs and the development of the sector in general. The WOCCU PEARLs monitoring system will be used for the analysis and evaluation of performance and reporting purpose.

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Member Organizations

AEMFI currently has about 30 member organizations.

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AEMFI map
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FAQ

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