Benin: €10m to boost the microfinance sector

Dec 31, 2015

The government wants to help empower young people and women.

Benin is to allocate 6.5 billion CFA francs (€ 9.9 million) in 2016 to boost the microfinance sector.

This initiative is specifically aimed at empowering youth and women, according to
the country's Ministry of microfinance, quoted by
Chinese news agency
Xinhua.

It also aims to promote empowerment initiatives, to develop a professional microfinance and to build institutional capacity and coordination.

Experts told Xinuha
there is a renewed interest in microfinance in Benin due to the fact that commercial banks account for over 90 per cent of total assets of the financial sector, but have a small
clientele that is concentrated in urban areas.

The government continues on its momentum following
the success of the "micro-loans to the poor" scheme, which has helped over a million people getting out of poverty between 2008 and 2013, said Thibaut Assogba, research professor of economics at Cotonou.

This program has enabled the poorest to borrow with an effective rate of two per cent, destined to cover the program's operational costs.

Thibaut Assogba believes that Benin's microfinance sector has emerged in recent years as a suitable tool in the fight against poverty, thanks to its proximity to vulnerable population and its ease of access.

According to 2011 figures from the National Agency for Financial Supervision of Decentralised Structures, the country has 721 microfinance institutions that serve a clientele estimated at 2.3 million people.ADNFCR-2976-ID-801809081-ADNFCR