Aga Khan Development Network: 3.5 billion francs in microfinance in Côte d’Ivoire

Apr 2008
Côte d’Ivoire, April, 30 2008 - The 14th micro-finance agency of the Aga Khan Network (RAK) will be installed in Côte d’Ivoire. Last Tuesday, an agreement setting the “tool of development and fight against poverty” was signed under the co-patronage the Head of State Laurent Gbagbo and His Highness the Aga Khan.

The Minister of Mines and Energy, Leon Monnet, representing the Minister of Economy and Finance, and Mr. Jacques Toureille, Director General of the Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance, have initiated the agreement respectively on behalf of Côte d’Ivoire and RAK.

At the end of the ceremony, Mr. Toureille told the press that the convention that his group has signed with the Ivorian government in Cote d’Ivoire will govern the operations of their institution. It is a fairly standard agreement which is prepared on a model that governs all micro-finance institutions in the sub-region. “This is a standard agreement, but our institution is not a standard. We intend to do something exceptionally important for this country, “he said.

From an initial capital of $ 7 million (about 3.5 billion CFA francs), the first micro-finance agency, RAK in Côte d’Ivoire seeks 250 miles borrowers and depositors 120 miles. This capital could be increased to 20 million dollars (9 billion CFA francs) in 3 or 4 years with a forecast of 1.3 million borrowers and 1 million applicants, “said Jacques Toureille, at a conference he hosted the morning of the signing of the Convention. The International Finance Corporation, the French Cooperation Agency, the European Investment Bank based in Luxembourg and the FMO (Dutch agency on Financing for Development) are the network partners Aga Khan Development (AKDN) in this project . Whose purpose is “to enable the poorest to have access to finance and fight against economic exclusion.” Three essential guidelines based this action: “create institutions perennial in time, because poverty is not something that will disappear overnight; provide services to populations of very large because of the importance of their needs , Including credit, savings and micro insurance in various geographic areas, ie both in rural than in urban areas and seek to have maximum impact by targeting people who are referred. For it is to ensure that services will go to the poorest and will not be diverted to the more affluent populations, “said Jacques Toureille.

The first microfinance agency AKDN in Côte d’Ivoire will open in the northern region where the group is already present in economic activities, especially in cotton. Its main services will be the deposit and credit. Through the credit that is an activity of finance, AKdN “seeks to integrate the customer in the economic environment in the country. This means ensuring that those people who initially are in a precarious situation, changing gradually for a more stable life, a more stable environment both in terms of their economic life and their habitat, access to health care and access to education for their children. ” Will be financed production activities (the purchase of inputs for the development of agriculture, small-scale mechanization (purchase of oxen, ploughs) agriculture to facilitate the work of people, etc; improving l ‘Habitat (construction of additional rooms, latrines, water, etc.. And health with insurance products. There is also leasing to facilitate money transfers and their use in countries Origin of some expatriates for example. Burkina Faso and Mali are the first two countries in the subregion to house a microfinance agency of the AKDN. Ivorian The agency could start its activities next September, said Director General of the Agency. On the night of Tuesday, the Head of State Laurent Gbagbo gave a dinner to His Highness the Aga Khan, during which he commended for all development activities that network deployed in Cote d’Ivoire. “Let me say that we have is a great friend. Historically, since independence, he worked alongside us,” said President Gbagbo.

On the micro finance, the Head of State stressed that it is the most important thing today in Africa. “The father of the micro-finance in India, took the Nobel Prize in economics. And they have done well to give it. Because this is the first time they give the Nobel Prize in economics intelligently. They were assigned to one who has really established a network to give the most needy. As pointed here, His Highness the Aga Khan. “ 

Source : Ismailimail

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