ACP-EU Actions

PAMIGA | Responsible and sustainable growth for rural microfinance


Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Senegal, Tanzania, Togo



Action duration

30 months

Partnership duration

2012 - 2014


Call for proposals

Action amount

€ 3,045,455

Contribution amount

€ 670,000


  • New financial product development
  • Capacity building of MFIs
  • Expanding outreach to unserved populations
  • Complementary non-financial services
  • Beneficiaries

  • Rural populations / remote areas
  • Women / Youth
  • > Context

    Financial services can enable the rural active poor to reduce their vulnerability, become more productive and increase their revenues. However, the provision of sustainable financial services in African rural areas presents a wide range of constraints.

    Formal financial services still only reach about 10% of the rural population (IFAD Rural Poverty Report, 2010).  That low performance translates the difficulties faced by financial service providers in reaching out to rural areas, which are remote, low population density, poorly equipped, subject to high seasonality in income. For practitioners, the challenge is to deal with high transaction costs, highly seasonal client revenues, and the difficulty of hiring and retaining skilled staff. 

    Thanks to technology improvements and product innovation, as well as improved infrastructure, rural finance providers can develop new strategies to remain relevant and efficient. Existing microfinance institutions (MFIs) have a key asset in developing these strategies, as they can build on solid, experienced client base. Scaling up, developing new products and using technologies are three of the key leverages that they can use.

    PAMIGA  - NGO created in 2006 to contribute to unlock the economic potential in rural Africa by supporting the development of rural finance - helps them in this process. 

    > Description

    The Action aims at contributing to unlock the economic potential in rural Africa, by promoting the growth of existing financial intermediaries that serve rural areas by:

    • Focusing on scaling up Rural Financial Intermediaries (RFIs) through mergers/acquisitions and institutional transformation, building strong governance and efficient systems for them to sustainably reach out to more rural households,
    • Assisting RFIs to implement technology platforms in order to allow costs reduction in service delivery in remote rural areas as well as the development of new services, especially payments and money transfers.
    • Assisting RFIs in developing new products, especially in financing rural water projects, to improve the productivity and mitigate climate related risks in agricultural activities, and increase incomes,
    • Helping RFIs to be more client-centred, monitor their social performance and build on results to improve positive impact on the lives of their clients,
    • Building the capacities of RFIs to provide high quality financial education to their clients to empower them and contribute to their economic autonomy.


    The Action is developed with 15 MFIs organized in a network and an information sharing platform. They are covering 10 Sub-Saharan countries, in Western, Central and Eastern regions, favouring cross-regional perspectives but also allowing for peer learning.

    The final beneficiaries are 1 million rural households (300,000 additional households), small farmers, women and youth, seasonal migrants, all involved in rural economic activities. 

    > Achievements

    As of December 31, 2014:

    • Portfolio at Risk (PAR) 30 days: 6,7% (target at 30 months: <6%)
    • Number of MFIs equipped with new technology (card, handheld, mobile): 2 (target at 30 months: 6)
    • People with improved access to water and energy: 5,535 (target at 30 months: 15,000)
    • Number of clients who received financial education: 32,768(target at 30 months: 42,000)
    • Percentage of participating MFIs that went through a Social Performance Assessment: 50% (target at 30 months: 100%)
    • Number of MFIs commercializing new water / renewable energy products:10 (target at 30 months: 10)
    • Total outreach (number of final beneficiaries, borrowers/depositers): 1,245,000 (target at 30 months: 510,000 borrowers and 834,000 depositors)
    ACP-EU Actions