Collateral Registry for Movable Assets: Helping unlock access to finance for MSMEs across Africa

Micro-, small- and medium-sized businesses (MSMEs) remain the engines of Africa’s economies. They are the principal job creators, and thus critical sources of liquidity. Paradoxically, most entrepreneurs behind these ventures do not have land or real estate to use as collateral to access expansion capital such as bank loans. A 2006 World Bank study affirmed this observation, reporting that 50% of credit applications to banks were rejected because of “insufficient collateral.”  Microfinance plays an integral role in fulfilling this liquidity gap in Africa, as elsewhere, but is often insufficient, keeping many MSMEs from realizing their potential. Furthermore, weak creditor rights, […]

Kenya’s APA Insurance Ltd wins the 10th European Microfinance Award in recognition of its response to “Strengthening Resilience to Climate Change”

APA Insurance Ltd (“APA”) is a Kenyan insurance company, providing index-based agriculture insurance to cover yields and livestock, providing farmers with a safety net. Index-based insurance is an innovative approach to insurance whereby payments are linked to easily measured environmental conditions known as an “Index” (e.g. the level of rainfall, yields or vegetation levels as measured by satellite) directly connected to the loss of agricultural output. When the Index exceeds a particular threshold, farmers automatically receive compensation. In Kenya, over 75% of farmers are smallholders and are especially vulnerable to the economic impact of climate change. APA covers more than 350,000 families throughout Kenya […]

Battle of the electronic payment juggernauts

The Nigerian payments space has the two biggest electronic payment rivals going toe-to-toe in the market. Visa and Mastercard, two of the largest companies in the world, each with market capitalisations of multiple hundred billions of dollars, have been making investments in Nigeria in an attempt to complement their core business and increase their exposure to Africa’s largest economy. Between the two companies they have made four investments in the payments sector in Nigeria, in-keeping with similar investments made in other large emerging markets operators.   It is estimated that the number of cards issued in Nigeria by December 2019 […]