The Foundation targets primarily Sub-Saharan Africa within the framework of its action for promoting improved access to financial services for the most underprivileged. It is indeed the region where inclusive financial services are most needed and least developed. With the support of the French Development Agency (AFD), the Foundation implemented, in 2013, a pilot project to support a larger number of rural microfinance institutions (MFIs), in Western and Eastern Africa: “The take-off Facility for agricultural and rural microfinance in Africa”.
The African Facility allows the Foundation to select beneficiary MFIs and provide them with funding according to more flexible criteria and procedures, especially in terms of portfolio size, risk, level of debt and operational self-sufficiency. In addition to financial criteria, the quality of institutions’ governance and management is a key element of assessment, as is their social performance, in particular their commitment to women and small farmers.
This funding offer is then accompanied by a technical assistance plan designed to enhance the operational performance of the partner institution, in particular its risk management.