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Sub-Saharan Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa > Advisory Services  > Access to Finance  > Partnership for Financial Inclusion 

2014 Annual Event

Our Partners

MasterCard FoundationAustrian Development Bank

Scaling up microfinance in Sub-Saharan Africa

Since pioneering commercial microfinance in the early 1990s, IFC has continued to lead innovation in microfinance, using developments in technology, financial products, and policy to help financial institutions reach a greater number of people in a more cost-effective way. IFC’s goal for microfinance is to scale up access to a range of high quality financial services for underserved populations, maximizing development impact and ensuring institutional sustainability.

IFC’s committed microfinance portfolio exposure in Sub-Saharan Africa totaled $67 million at the end of 2012, with 24 clients in 12 countries. The Partnership for Financial Inclusion aims to scale up 8-10 of IFCs strongest microfinance clients on the continent by supporting the development of innovative new products, cost-effective delivery channels and expansion into hard-to-reach locations, especially rural areas. At the end of the five year period, it is expected that each program institution will have added 100,000 customers. 

Program clients are supported by IFC expertise and advisory services, and are expected to share their program experiences in order to contribute to global knowledge on the scaling up of microfinance institutions. For more details on how the program works with clients, please have a look at our Program page.


  • Scaling up the strongest IFC client microfinance institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Advancing product development, channel diversification and geographical expansion.
  • Research and lessons learnt will be shared with the global microfinance community.


“Disadvantaged people derive real benefits from having more control over their finances, and our partnership with IFC will help bring responsible financial services to a significant number of people in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

- Reeta Roy, president and CEO of The MasterCard Foundation, at the Johannesburg launch of the Partnership for Financial Inclusion.


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