The International Finance Corporation and Lift Above Poverty Organisation are seeking to expand microfinance to some of the less developed economies and fragile states in Sub-Saharan Africa.
This was contained in a statement to announce a partnership between IFC and Nigerian indigenous LAPO made available to Financial Street on Friday.
According to the statement by IFC’s Communications Consultant in Lagos, Anurika Azubuike, the expansion will specifically target women borrowers, low-income earners, and those in rural areas.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, under the partnership, will conduct market analysis of several African countries, including fragile states, and provide advisory support to LAPO, to help it expand its microfinance business beyond Nigeria and Sierra Leone, it further stated.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer of LAPO, Dr Godwin Ehigiamusoe, was quoted as saying, “Through IFC’s advisory support, we will expand our capacity to build greater financial inclusion among a rural, low-income client base in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“IFC’s advisory will also help us deepen our efforts to reach more women-owned micro enterprises, which currently represent about 70 per cent of clients in our existing microfinance operations.”
IFC’s Regional Director, Southern Africa and Nigeria, Kevin Njiraini, added, “IFC’s support to LAPO is part of our commitment to strengthen economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa, support micro enterprises and reduce poverty.
“This project marks a significant milestone in the development of microfinance in Africa, particularly as countries continue to suffer the severe effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
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