Microfinance Capacity Building Fund (MCBF)


Promoting transparency and innovation to scale-up and deepen microfinance outreach in Africa

The African Development Bank (AfDB), in collaboration with the Government of Spain, established the Microfinance Capacity Building Fund (MCBF) with the primary objective of scaling-up capacity building efforts to the financial sector for the benefit of poor and low-income people in Africa, with a special emphasis on women and rural areas. The Fund was launched with Euros 5 million in funding from the Government of Spain. The AfDB expects to mobilize additional funding as the Fund transforms from a Bi-lateral Fund to a Multi-Donor Fund.

Scope of technical assistance of the MCBF

To reach its goals, the Fund considers the three levels (Macro, Meso and Micro) of the financial system by:  

  • Enhancing retail institutions capacity in order to create, broaden and deepen a diversified supply side of financial services to the poor and especially to women
  • Strengthening market infrastructure to solve many weaknesses on the retail side
  • Developing an appropriate supervisory framework.

Areas of intervention of the MCBF

For this purpose, the Fund strategy consists in intervening in two main ways: 

  • Increasing transparency in the microfinance sector
  • Deepening outreach in rural areas

The Fund supports national projects but also promotes integration at the regional level, including multi-country projects and regional central banks.

Eligibility Criteria

For applicant from Retail Institutions such as Financial Service Providers (Microfinance Institution's, Sacco's, NGO, Banks, etc.) and market infrastructure ( Microfinance associations, Service providers, etc.), the following criteria must be met at the time of the submission:

  • Be legally constituted, registered and operating in Africa
  • Have a minimum of 3 years of operational experience and provide a minimum of 3 years of audited financial statements
  • Demonstrate sufficient expertise to manage the proposed project 
  • Be or be close to sustainability 
  • Be directly responsible for the proposed project, i.e. not acting as an intermediary
  • Have assets above Euros 300,000 and a minimum of 3,000 active clients for retail financial service providers 
  • Have the capacity (determined by the AfDB legal office) to enter into financial and legal agreements with the AfDB

Submission of Applications

The MCBF fund currently welcomes applications for innovative projects within the African Microfinance sector. Download the full presentation here

Applicants are required to complete a Grant Application Form. Retail institutions are required to complete the Project Evaluation Form in addition to the Grant Application Form. 

All applications can be submitted to MCBF Coordinator at the following address :

André Okou
Tel : +225 20 26 26 78
Email :