US Agency for International Development and Standard Chartered Partner on Sustai...

Nov 2008
Washington, D.C., United States, November, 12 2008 - The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Standard Chartered Bank announced today that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding ("MOU") designed to support the increased availability of financial services in sub-Saharan Africa and to encourage sustainable economic growth there.

The goals of the parties under the MOU are to:
  • promote the development of the financial sector, increase trade, and encourage local financial institutions and enterprises in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • execute partial credit guarantees that focus on sectors that further economic growth, including microfinance institutions, micro- and other local enterprises, agribusiness entities and project and infrastructure-based transactions.
  • provide technical assistance to financial institutions in Africa and co-host seminars, workshops and conferences for African enterprises.

In signing the agreement, Peter Sands, chief executive officer of Standard Chartered Bank, said: "This agreement is part of our overall commitment to supporting sustainable development in the communities in which we operate. For us, sustainability means focusing on activities that enhance business performance while simultaneously supporting economic growth. Africa is a very important market for us, and we have a long history there. USAID has long-term experience in Africa and we look forward to partnering with them to meet our joint goals of unlocking value and boosting economic growth in Africa."

At the Clinton Global Initiative in 2006, Standard Chartered Bank pledged to invest a total of $500 million to microfinance institutions in Africa and Asia by 2011. The Bank expects this commitment to benefit four million people over the five-year period. By the end of 2007, we had originated $170 million through partner microfinance institutions in thirteen countries providing capital and supporting financial innovation.

Standard Chartered believes that increasing access to financial services is key to building a sustainable business, and that microfinance is a commercial opportunity that has the potential to broaden financial inclusion.


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