Senegal: Microfinance experts recommend increasing competition

Feb 10, 2011

Microfinance experts have called for increased competition in the market in order to help bring down interest rates.

They made the suggestion at a conference hosted by the Senegalese office of microfinance in Saly portudal that was attended by industry specialists, Sud Quotidien newspaper reports.

The objective of the event was to find solutions to help microfinance institutions to last on the long term and also help lower interest rates, so that these institutions can fulfil their role in the economic development of Senegal,

One of the solutions advocated by the experts was to increase competition between microcredit institutions.

A second suggestion was to subsidise their creation where the market is still weak.

Industry representatives therefore recommended that the government force microfinance institutions to become more transparent, so that customers can easily compare offers and calculate interest rates and commissions.

"The most important measure is to strengthen the links between decentralised financial systems, banks and other investment funds. This will help [small and medium-sized businesses] get financing and will help the integration of the microfinance sector into the financial sector", Cheikh Sadibou Ly, microfinance expert, told Reussir Business newspaper.