Sub-Saharan Africa 2009: Microfinance Analysis and Benchmarking Report

A report from MIX and CGAP analyzing MFI performance in the SSA region
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This report analyzes the state of microfinance in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in 2008.

Over the last decade, the microfinance sector in SSA increased outreach and improved MFI performance. Increase in food and fuel prices as well as the global economic contraction in 2008, however, impacted the sector. The report states that:

  • Borrower growth slowed in most MFIs, but average loan balance increased;
  • Depositor growth increased, but average deposit size decreased;
  • Thirteen countries adopted, drafted or amended laws pertaining to microfinance providers;
  • Branchless banking took off in SSA in 28 countries, but without specific guidelines;
  • Number of Financial Intelligence Units that tackle money laundering and the financing of terrorism more than tripled between 2007 and 2008;
  • Deposits are the main source of funding for SSA MFIs;
  • Funding from cross-border donors and investors continues to grow;
  • MFIs experienced increased revenue;
  • MFI efficiency and productivity decreased, perhaps due to investments in keeping portfolio quality stable in difficult times.

SSA microfinance has proved resilient in the face of the global economic crisis. Continued vigilance, sound management and governance will prevent it from experiencing aftershocks of the crises.