Exchanges yield profits for microfinanciers
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CTA. 2000. Exchanges yield profits for microfinanciers. Spore 85. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/46667
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore85.pdf
study visit to Cameroon on microfinance in October 1999
You can learn from reading or from hearsay, but there is nothing like a direct exchange of opinions and experiences, a confronting and soliciting of creative solutions. Small wonder that CTA co-organises study visits, like the one to Cameroon on microfinance in October 1999. The participants, representing 15 microfinance organisations from eight African countries, were in Cameroon to visit a rich variety of microfinance institutions, varying in size, products like credit and insurance, management, and target groups. The general objective of this study visit, which was co-organised with the Ministry of Agriculture of Cameroon, and IRAM, a development research institute, was to improve the performance of microfinance institutions in serving those groups in society that are usually given the cold shoulder by banks. At the same time, microfinanciers need to adopt banking principles to function more efficiently and to get access to capital and money markets. This access is one of the biggest constraints to increasing credit volumes and thus bringing microfinance closer to the local com-munities. Participants agreed that the establishment of a professional branch organisation for the microfinance sector is an essential step to deal with providers of capital. Such a body could regulate the microfinance sector and insure members risks. The participants concluded that a certain degree of self-management is suitable for microfinance organisations at local level. But the 'gender lender' issue was not solved: the main problem is that women are seldom part of the management of the microfinance institutions, except where they are uniquely focused on women.