FinMark Trust is pleased to release its 2014 annual report. The Trust has had a very good year and has made significant progress in facilitating financial markets to work for the poor.
This has been achieved against the background of an improved African financial inclusion landscape, with several countries undertaking structural and legal reforms supported by the work of regional organisations in harmonising legal and regulatory frameworks across countries. It is against this positive background that FinMark Trust has continued to play a catalytic role in ensuring that access to financial markets, as an essential contributor to economic development and growth, continues to be a key priority for the SADC countries.
Accordingly, FinMark Trust has developed a multi-pronged approach to address the issues of low levels of inclusion in the region and uses evidence-based research, advocacy and targeted stakeholder engagements to influence decision making at the policy, regulatory and product development levels.
Read the full report here.
FinMark Trust launches the Southern African Microfinance Project (SAMP)
Access to financial services remains a significant challenge in Southern Africa when compared with other developing parts of the world and interventions are required to address the shortfalls in financial access. A number of interventions, spanning liberalisation of financial sectors, direct government programmes, legislative reform, and participatory and voluntary engagement from the private sector are currently in progress.
To this end, the Southern African Microfinance Project (SAMP) was coined which aims to catalyse the growth of access to financial services through the development of microfinance.
The project aims to address the challenges of the microfinance sector through a common approach across a broad representation of the SADC countries. Consequently a detailed project scoping process identified the regulatory and policy environment of microfinance in the SADC region as an area requiring focus. Related to the policy and regulatory environment is the relatively low level of investment and funding that microfinance institutions in the region are able to attract from international microfinance investment funds.
The project intends to: promote the continued development of conducive policy, regulation and government support for the microfinance sector in SADC through agreeing and promoting relevant policy principles; and to develop an understanding of investor requirements and consequently build transparent information and capacity at a mezzo-level within the SADC through collaborative learning. We will continue to update you on the progress of activities of the project.