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Johannesburg, South Africa, February 2
, 2015 –
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced an advisory services agreement with Advans Cameroun to accelerate financial inclusion in Cameroon by expanding the range and reach of services available to underserved urban and rural populations.
The project is part of the Partnership for Financial Inclusion, a joint $37.4 million initiative by IFC and The MasterCard Foundation that aims to scale up commercial microfinance and develop mobile financial services to increase financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa.
IFC will provide advisory services worth $ 1.18 million to Advans Cameroun over the next four years to design, pilot and roll out a branchless banking model that will involve mini branches, mobile collectors and agents.
Access to credit is a major obstacle to the reduction of rural poverty in Cameroon. Exclusion from financial services is particularly acute in the agricultural sector, which employs 60 percent of the country’s population. This is mainly due to the high cost of establishing branches in sparsely populated areas for formal financial instituions.
Steven Duchatelle, Head of Operations for Advans Group, said, “After successfully building a strong presence in urban centers, Advans Cameroun’s objective is to develop its outreach in rural areas. This project will allow us to provide easy and convenient access to financial services and solutions for small-scale entrepreneurs, smallholder farmers and generally the low-income population.”
Greta Bull, IFC Manager for the Financial Institutions Group Advisory Services, Sub-Saharan Africa, said, “The agreement between IFC and Advans Cameroun highlights the need to develop innovative financial products and delivery channels for people in rural areas. The tools developed will have the potential to reach over 60,000 new customers, and will have a significant impact on their ability to access secure and affordable financial services.”
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in about 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. In FY14, we provided more than $22 billion in financing to improve lives in developing countries and tackle the most urgent challenges of development. For more information, visit
About the Partnership for Financial Inclusion
The Partnership for Financial Inclusion is a joint initiative of IFC and The MasterCard Foundation to expand microfinance and advance mobile financial services in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Partnership is also supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Development Bank of Austria (OeEB, Oesterreichische Entwicklungsbank AG),and collaborates with knowledge partners such as the World Bank and the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, CGAP. For more information:
About The MasterCard Foundation
The MasterCard Foundation is an independent, global organization based in Toronto, Canada with over US$9 billion in assets. Through collaboration with partner organizations in 49 countries, it is creating opportunities for all people to learn and prosper. The Foundation's programs promote financial inclusion and advance youth learning, mostly in Africa. Established in 2006 through the generosity of MasterCard Worldwide when it became a public company, the Foundation is a separate and independent entity. The policies, operations and funding decisions of the Foundation are determined by its own Board of Directors and President and CEO. For more information on the Foundation, please visit:
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