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Our Partners

Awash International Bank S.C
BRS Belgian NGO
Commercial Bank of Ethiopia
Ethio-Italian Development Cooperation
EU and European Women's Association
ING of Netherlands
KBC of Belgium
KFW of Germany
Oromia International Bank S.C
Terrafina the Netherlands
The Cordaid Netherlands NGO
WSM Belgian NGO


MicroLead in Ethiopia: Background


Under the “Expanding Access to Savings Led Financial Services” program of UNCDF (United Nations Capital Development Fund), the consortium of BASICS Ltd and PAMIGA was invited to explore possibilities and options to contribute in strengthening the Microfinance sector in the Least Developed Countries, including in Ethiopia. A team of professionals from BASICS Ltd and PAMIGA undertook a feasibility study in Ethiopia during December 2009 and February 2010 to explore how access to savings led financial services can be expanded.

During the study, the team met with various meso and micro level stakeholders and identified the intervention model for strengthening the microfinance sector in Ethiopia. The team used several methods to gather information such as interviews, focused group discussions, visits to branches, direct observation and secondary information collection from government and private sources. The study helped the consortium identify gaps in the microfinance sector and the areas of intervention required to expand the outreach of the MFIs in the country.

On the basis of inputs from visits to the country, and several rounds of consultations with various stakeholders, including AEMFI, the partners’ managerial heads and employees of selected MFIs, apart from referring to secondary information, a Detailed Implementation Plan (DIP) was prepared and submitted to the UNCDF for approval.

UNCDF selected the consortium of BASICS Ltd., India and Participatory Microfinance Group for Africa (PAMIGA) to implement MicroLead programme in Ethiopia to scale up microfinance outreach in the country by:

  1. Providing focused Technical Assistance to two financial service providers – BuusaaGonofaa Microfinance Institution, S.C. (BG) and Wasasa Microfinance Institution, S.C. (Wasasa) for a period of three and half years in the following thematic areas:

Risk Management and Internal Controls & Audit (ICA)
Financial Management
Strengthening Operations and Functions
Product Development with special emphasis on Savings Products
MIS and IT
HR systems and capacity building
Financial Literacy
  1. Providing Technical Assistance to other MFIs in the country by conducting regular training programmes (17 training programmes and two workshops) and sharing of knowledge through the Association of Ethiopian Microfinance Institutions (AEMFI). The training programmes will be conducted in the following areas

Risk Management
Financial Literacy
Human Resource Development and Management
New Product Development
Savings Promotion

Outcome and Deliverables


The expected outcome is the improved institutional capacity of the MFIs in terms of better products, improved HR capacity, improved financial management practices, improved governance and better internal controls & risk management practices etc, which will in turn lead to increased outreach for the MFIs and better access to efficient financial services for the rural poor.

The specific deliverables include:

  • To increase the number of voluntary saving clients from the existing level of 56,000 to 251,600 by June 2015 by strengthening the capacity of the institutions to introduce and market new short term as well as long term savings products in tune with the needs of the target segment;

  • Increasing the number of credit clients from the current level of 97,960 to 369,445 in 2015 by suitably customizing the existing products as well as by introducing new short term and long term products as per the needs of different customer segments - agriculture, small & micro enterprises development & expansion, and general purpose products

  • Strengthening the risk mitigation systems and the internal control systems utilizing proper IT based systems;

  • Strengthening the governance and build up of capacities for effective management at senior and middle management levels;

  • Build up human capacities by streamlining recruitment systems, induction and training methods, improving compensation policies all of which will lead to enhancement of productivity; § Implementation of new software at Wasasa and implementation of appropriate branchless banking solutions at both BG and Wasasa – eg. Introduction of new technologies as suitable to the local context. Eg. Handheld POS machines- to increase outreach in a cost effective manner;

  • Strengthening the MIS capabilities by adopting new technologies to improve the efficiency of operations and risk management systems; § To develop the human resource capability of the microfinance sector in Ethiopia by conducting periodic training programmes and work-shops for all the MFIs in Ethiopia in collaboration with AEMFI and sharing the tools and processes developed during the technical assistance to BG and WASASA, which will help the MFIs to provide financial services to a large number of clients in an efficient and effective manner.


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