Program Related News Archive

Rising Interest in Microfinance in Africa

story from Tokyo Development Learning Center

Gerin Sigsbert
Gerin Sigsbert became certified as a trainer after successfully completing MFTOT9.

Gerin Sigsbert, a Tanzanian national was working as an internal auditor for a microfinance intervention project funded by the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) and the Government of Tanzania when he found out about the ninth delivery of the Microfinance Training of Trainers (MFTOT) Course offered by the World Bank Tokyo Development Learning Center (TDLC). He was supposed to “know the ABCs of microfinance,” and had been searching for some training on microfinance that could provide him complementary knowledge and skills that would allow him to better serve his responsibilities at his organization. When he learned about MFTOT 9, he immediately contacted the Tanzania Global Learning Agency (TaGLA) and signed up for the course.

MFTOT Course

The MFTOT course jointly sponsored by the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI), the World Bank Tokyo Development Learning Center, and since MFTOT8by the China Development Bank (CDB) is an intensive five-month blended learning program on microfinance consisting of self-study using a text book and CD-ROM developed by United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), online tutoring, and discussions via an online platform and videoconferencing (VC) sessions. By successfully completing all course requirements and passing a final exam, a student will be accredited and receive an instructor’s manual and be allowed to train others on the course or serve as tutors in subsequent MFTOT course deliveries.

“Now, I can say I know microfinance,” commented Sigsbert who became a certified trainer after completing MFTOT 9 and added, “during auditing, I can review delinquency management, financial and institutional viability, assessing performance at different parameters for a visited microfinance institution (MFI). Furthermore, I can now advice on several microfinance aspects like computations of interest rates, client’s retention techniques, and product design etc. “

Africa Rising

Sigbert is one of 170 participants from Africa who have successfully completed MFTOT9 which ran from July to November 2013. Despite challenges such as being faced with frequent electricity blackouts in some countries which can seriously interfere with online learning, there were more students signing up for the course from the Africa region than any other regions, making up about 64% of the total. 148 (60%) out of 244 accredited graduates of MFTOT9 were from the Africa region.

Regional Participation in Microfinance Training of Trainers Course

The first MFTOT course was offered at TDLC in 2005. Over the course of nine deliveries, including the latest one which ran from July to November 2013, more than 1,900 participants from 64 countries have studied the program. Of these, 1137 have become fully accredited microfinance trainers. In the earlier deliveries, participants from South Asia, most notably Sri Lanka had the highest number of participants. However, around the sixth delivery of the course in 2009, participants from Africa increased, showing an upward increase from that point on. To date, the cumulative number of certified trainers in the region is the highest compared to all other regions at 466, making up about 40% of the 1137 certified trainers; 142 are from Nigeria, 92 are from Kenya, 61 from Uganda, 52 from Ghana, 39 from Ethiopia, 30 from Tanzania, and the rest from Cameroon,  Cote d’Ivoire among others. (See the graph above for details.)

“(In) most of the African countries, in particular Tanzania, microfinance is a new intervention by governments against poverty,” analyzed Sigbert regarding the high enrollment and successful certification rates of participants from Africa. “Of course, there must be a need or force that makes you to do something”, explaining the strong drive and demand to learn microfinance in Africa.

He explained that the African participants see the potential for growth in the field of microfinance in the future, where “instead of being employed you can employ yourself and others since the market of microfinance is still very young.”  As many as nine graduates of MFTOT 9 specifically stated in a post-course completion survey that they intended to establish a microfinance institution.

MFTOT9 Completion Report

For each delivery of the MFTOT course, TDLC conducts surveys on participants and compiles a completion report analyzing trends and findings for further improvement in subsequent deliveries. The completion report on the delivery of the ninth training of trainers of microfinance (MFTOT9) is available here.

MFTOT9_Completion_Report.pdf