Category: News

Newsletter – June 2024

I- Green financing could help Africa mitigate climate change effects

African countries should explore innovative green financing mechanisms to promote a green transition to mitigate the effects of climate change, experts attending the annual UN Economic Commission for Africa’s Conference of Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (COM2024) in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, said last week.

Veronica Jakarasi, Chief Director, Climate and Meteorological Services of Zimbabwe stressed the need to support environment friendly investments like climate smart agriculture to mitigate climate change.
“To attract green financing, Africa needs to have policy and regulatory frameworks with set targets in line with ambitious development,” said Ms. Jakarasi.

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II- New members

The board of directors which met on May 30, 2024 in ordinary session admitted 4 new institutions as members of the MAIN network. These are: COOPEC TOGO PORT in Togo, WAKILI SA in Guinea Conakry, Caisse Baitoul Maal (CBM) in Burkina Faso and the Solidarity Fund for Education Workers (FSTE) in Burundi. The MAIN board of directors as well as the Executive Management welcome the new members to the pan-African network and hope to continue with them capacity building actions for responsible, social and ethical inclusive finance.

III- Exam Results for the Professional Diploma in Microfinance: Customer Relationship Manager & Branch Manager

Following the launch of this first wave of training with three professional associations (APSFD Senegal, ANIMF & APROCEC of the DRC), the participants sit for exams on December 6 & 7, 2023. In total ninety-four (94) participants wrote for the professional branch manager while thirty-seven (37) participants wrote for the professional customer relationship manager course.

The Delivery Jury took place on February 27, 2024 and the results were announced to the professional associations on February 29, 2024. For the professional branch manager program, out of 94 registered, 70 were declared admitted, i.e. a success rate of 74.46%. Regarding the professional customer relationship program, out of 37 registered, 31 were declared admitted, representing a success rate of 83.78%. Overall, we note that the results are very satisfactory. The beginning of the training for the 2024 session is planned for July.

IV- Signature of the MAIN & INES Rugengeri agreement and launch of the new master’s program

On May 9, 2024, the chairman of MAIN and the Vice Chancellor (VC) of Ines Ruhengeri signed the memorandum of understanding between the two institutions. This signing ceremony took place within the university in front of the teaching staff and administrative staff of the university. This collaboration aims to set up a master’s program in microfinance for English-speaking members of MAIN. For the VC of the university, everything will be done for the success of this program. As for the chairman of MAIN, he was delighted with the welcome and the arrangements made for the effectiveness of this signing of the convention. He urged the English-speaking members to benefit massively from this program and recommended that the university should take this program very seriously for its the notoriety even beyond Rwandan borders. It is in the quest for excellence and diversification of technical partners that this program was created.

This master’s degree in Microfinance is designed to develop and strengthen the skills of financial inclusion stakeholders for more efficient and healthy management of their institution. This two-year hybrid program (face-to-face and online program) will allow MFI executives to equip themselves with innovative tools for good management of a microfinance institution. Registrations for the first class have started and the beginning of the academic year is scheduled for August 2024.

V- Call for applications to host SAM 2025

In partnership with the Luxembourgish Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Defence, Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade (MFA) and the MAIN network (Microfinance African Institutions Network) based in Togo, ADA (Appui au développement autonome) is launching a call for applications for host countries for the next edition of the African Inclusive Finance Week (SAM) in October 2025.

For more info click on the folowing link :

VI- 5th Edition of the Microfinance Graduation Ceremony

In partnership with Microfinance African Institutions Network (MAIN) and the Ecole Supérieure de la Banque (Esbanque), the Professional Association of Microfinance of Senegal organized two professional certificate training sessions in “Customer Relationship Manager” and “Branch Manager” in year 2023.

Thus, following the training and the announcement of the exam results for obtaining the certificate of “Customer Relationship Manager” and “Branch Manager,” the professional association of microfinance institutions of Senegal organized the 5th edition of the graduation ceremony for the 68 recipients from the two 2023 cohorts. Indeed, this event constitutes a significant moment of symbiosis and sharing between authorities, professionals of the industry and their families to pay tribute to the pioneers (both men and women) who embody the values of the Microfinance sector in Senegal.

In this regard, the Board of Directors of APSFD-Senegal, through this activity, sought to honor the efforts and commitments of two pioneers in the sector, namely Mr. Boubacar BA and Mrs. Ndeye Sophie DIAW, for their contribution to the promotion of Microfinance in Senegal and the influence of the professional association. This edition, which also honors the 8th Customer Relationship Manager cohort and the 5th Branch Manager cohort of 2023, was sponsored by the National Microfinance Fund and presided over by the Minister of Microfinance and the Social and Solidarity Economy.

Upcoming Events
  1. Training on emotional intelligence: development factor for MFIs, Cotonou, Benin, July 2024
  2. Training on the digitalization of agricultural value chains, Lomé Togo, August 2024
  3. Master’s program in microfinance for French speakers, UCAC August 2024
  4. Master’s program in microfinance for English speakers, Ines Ruhengeri, August 2024

Newsletter – December 2023

MAIN publication on “Green Products” (Only in French)

MAIN is pleased to announce the publication of the very first Green Products manual dedicated to MFIs in Africa entitled “Approaches and methodologies for the design and marketing of ecological financial products and services by microfinance institutions”

This manual lays the way for positive change in climate and inclusive finance in Africa. It gives microfinance institutions concrete guidelines to develop green products that actively integrate strengthening the sustainability and resilience of vulnerable communities. This will help address issues such as energy deficit and declining soil yields in the critical situation caused by climate change and loss of biodiversity, which hamper social and economic development and heavily affect poor households and micro-enterprises in urban and rural areas.


This pioneering manual was developed by compiling lessons learned and experiences from over 15 years of developing and piloting green products in Africa and around the world. Designed as part of the Green Index 3.0 of the European Microfinance Platform’s Climate Smart Finance Action Group, this book provides a valuable resource for African financial institutions seeking to develop and grow their portfolio of green products and to support the transition to a more sustainable economy through rural communities.

It’s time to get involved and help reduce climate vulnerability, improve community income stability and foster a healthier relationship with our ecosystems! If you would like to get this this book, please contact

Reopening of the certified course in Microfinance for loan officer and branch manager

As part of the agreement signed between MAIN and Ecole Supérieure de Banque, MAIN has resumed microfinance certified courses. In 2023, three professional associations, namely APSFD of Senegal, APROCEC and ANIMF of the DRC, took part in this first session of training.


Participants in training room

The “Loan officer” training aims to develop their general and specific knowledge for rigorous and professional exercise of their profession. The branch Manager Training dedicated to Managers aims to develop their skills in branch management, organization techniques and also to develop skills in human resources management using methods and tools of communication and management by taking into account the behavioral dimension linked to this profession.

Following delivery of the courses on the different training modules, the exams took place respectively on December 6 and 7, 2023 in the different countries. A total of one hundred and thirty-four (134) participants took part in the exams marking the end of the various training courses. Out of the total participants, thirty-seven (37) applied for the professional certified course on “Loan officer” and ninety-seven (97) for the professional certified course on “branch manager”.


Photo of participants in the examination room

Overall, the courses and exams went very well, as demonstrated by some participants.

Overall the training went very well, the timing was respected throughout the training. As for the exam papers, they were affordable given that similar cases had been dealt with during the course period and everything relates to what we were taught during the 13 days of training.

Mr. DAOUDA Mané, Loan manager, Kaolack agency, Caurie- Microfinance, Candidate for the professional certified course on loan officer.

More fear than harm. The exam subjects correspond well to the lessons received. The training itself responds well to the concerns or challenges that we encounter on a daily basis and also provides us with a new management approach that we must have for the viability and sustainability of our institutions. I would strongly recommend this training to other branch manager who have not yet had the opportunity to participate to register to enhance their skills as branch manager in an MFI.

Ms. MBOMBO NGALAMULUME, Advans Congo agency head, Kinshasa, Candidate for the professional certified course branch manager.

For this reopening of the different training courses, MAIN has introduced a transversal course on the Ecological and Social Transition (EST). In a context where the entire world is bearing the brunt of the effects of climate change, financial inclusion players are not remaining on the sidelines of this development. The ecological and social transition is gaining importance and becoming a subject of major concern. The World Bank has stressed that climate disruption could reduce agricultural production, particularly in regions of the world that already suffer from food insecurity.

Many countries have intensified their efforts to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions, promote renewable energies and fight climate change. The effects of climate change have become increasingly visible and have prompted governments to undertake mitigation efforts. These developments have led to an acceleration of the ecological and social transition in the world.

The program will continue in 2024 with other professional associations.

Development of a training module on gender and the Ecological and Social Transition (EST)

As part of the project “Inclusive finance in Africa facing the challenges of ecological and social transition: challenges and capacity building of African actors through an innovative and adapted training offer” MAIN has developed a training module on gender and ecological and social transition. Currently, the approach to ecological transition and that of gender with a view to achieving gender equality, can be considered as transversal components, to be taken into account in all policies, programs and projects, as well as the functioning of organizations. These two approaches reinforce each other and can enable developments towards greater social justice, while offering new possibilities for economic activities.

Most development institutions and donors consider taking into account gender and the ecological and climate transition as prerequisites for all projects. It is in this dynamic that this module was born. This “Gender and ecological and social transition” training module aims to explain what the gender perspective consists of (which can also be defined as an “integrated approach to equality between women and men”) and how to apply it to the ecological and social transition, placed in the context of environmental issues and the fight against global warming. This module is intended for all financial inclusion stakeholders who would like to understand the link between EST, gender and microfinance. It is divided into several sequences as follows:

Sequence #1

What is the concept of gender? What is the gender approach?

Sequence #2

Gender analysis and methodological tools

Sequence #3

The gender approach in the field of ecological and social transition

Sequence #4

Gender, microfinance and ecological and social transition

Sequence #5

Stakeholders, debates and news around gender issues & ecological and social transition

Following the development of this training material, MAIN organized between October and November 2023, a series of three webinars. The various sessions saw strong participation from members and non-members. We can conclude from this series of webinars that the theme interests members and that the deployment from 2024 will meet with strong support from them.


Newsletter – May 2021


A review of successes and challenges in current programming

Development programs are increasingly aiming to support populations already affected by the impacts of climate change through a variety of interventions that aim to strengthen climate resilience. Programs focused on inclusive finance are also designing interventions to reach development outcomes, and within those programs, there are considerable discussions on how savings can contribute to resilience more broadly.

This knowledge review provides insights from across the current literature and shares illustrative examples of programs and activities that are designed to increase climate resilience through the use of savings components. The review focuses particularly on successes and challenges in building up climate resilience, across three dimensions: disaster preparedness, response, and adaptation to climate change.

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Lessons from India on leveraging government transfers to drive women’s financial inclusion

In March 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic spread worldwide, the Indian government undertook one of its largest relief initiatives to date. From April to June 2020, women customers in the government’s financial inclusion program, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), received a cash transfer of INR 500 (~ $6.85) per month. The initiative sought to mitigate potential loss of income as a result of the pandemic and bolster the overall financial security of women and their households.

Direct government transfers to women beneficiaries can contribute significantly to women’s financial inclusion by increasing access and usage of financial services. To see if this was happening in India, Women’s World Banking partnered with a leading public sector bank in India to assess the effect of COVID-19 relief payments on the account activity of approximately 318,000 women customers during lockdown. In this blog, we reflect upon key findings from our study and propose solutions which could help build women customers’ financial resilience amidst a global pandemic.

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The coffee sector has a huge potential to contribute to poverty alleviation in East Africa, but the sector’s development is hampered by a lack of savings and credit facilities. Moreover, women’s access to financial services is even more restricted than that of men, and most women in rural areas continue to save in secret hiding places, and borrow from shops, agricultural input wholesalers or agro-vets. Microfinance in East Africa – Schemes for Women in the Coffee Sector aims to give an overview of the savings and credit landscape relevant to women engaged in the production and processing of coffee, particularly in Uganda and Kenya. It explains reasons for the limited microfinance coverage of women engaged in the sector, and provides suggestions to increase it. It also offers an easy overview of who-is-who in microfinance in East Africa with services targeted at women and the coffee sector.

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MAIN will become champion of transparency in 2021

After the merger of MAIN & AMT which took place during the African Microfinance Week in 2017, the “Project of transparency promotion and development in microfinance sector in Africa” is in progress. Transparency is an essential value that still has a long way to go in African microfinance industry. To gain the confidence of investors and clients and finance the development of their activities, Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) must set up transparency policies detailing their financial and social performance and information provided to clients.

After two Tainings of Trainers (ToT) in transparency in 2019, personalized coaching on financial education, training on financial analysis and social performance, the year 2020 was the beginning of implementation of transparency actions in African MFIs. Also in 2020, Transparency Pact was proposed and signed by institution’s members wishing to commit to greater transparency in their practices, with key element as collecting, analyzing and publishing financial and social data on ATLAS. At the end of 2020, MAIN organized an online transparency project capitalization workshop to present the activities carried out, the results achieved and the main lessons learnt with more than sixty members who participated in this online workshop.

Forty-Five (45) institutions, either 47% of member microfinance institutions, have signed the Transparency Pact, including forty (40) French-speaking and five (5) English-speaking institutions. The Pact offers two options for the publication of financial and social data, one nominative (option 1) and another anonymous (option 2). Thirty (30) institutions, including twenty eight (28) French-speaking and two (2) English-speaking, chose option 1 and fifteen (15) institutions, including twelve (12) French-speaking and three (3) English-speaking, chose option 2; either 67% of the signatories of the Pact have chosen to publish their data  nominatevely and 33% have chosen to remain anonymous.

Of the forty-five (45) institutions that have signed the Transparency Pact, twenty seven (27) have sent their Factsheets for 2019 to MAIN, meaning 60% of the institutions that have signed the Pact. Out of these twenty seven (27), there are twenty (20) institutions, including eighteen (18) French-speaking and two (2) English-speaking for option 1. Seven (7) institutions that have opted for option 2 are exclusively French-speaking. This effort that you have made has been highly appreciated by the executive direction of MAIN.

MAIN Transparency Awards were created to reward institutions that respect good transparency practices. During the capitalization workshop, MAIN presented the Awards for the twenty one (21) institutions that have kept their commitments and shared their social and financial data. Three of the last received the “Gold” award consisting of a video clip highlighting their efforts in terms of transparency. Thirteen (13) others received the Bronze award and five (5) the Silver award.

We hereby, would like to urge members of the network who have signed the transparency charter to share their Factsheet from last year (2020) with MAIN during this year 2021, and invite other members of the network, to be part of this dynamic. MAIN wants to become a center of competence in matters of transparency which informs about international standards and disseminates good practices.

This requires the mobilization of all members of the network because your commitment to transparency will be a great achievement for the sector and for microfinance players in Africa. Do not hesitate to visit our dedicated page on or contact us to find out about the next actions on transparency.

The Executive Direction

Welcome to the MAIN’s website

MAIN (Microfinance African Institutions Network) is an international non profit making association established in 1995 through the initiative of several institutions with long experience in microfinance and/or promoting microentreprises in Africa.As at december 31 st  2022, MAIN has organized  12 International Conferences,  40 sessions of university program,  82 trainings, 14 exchanges visits. In total  4002 microfinance pratitionners have been trained as at the same date. Moreover, 10 publications have been published by MAIN.