DFID helps Africa attain financial services

    The Department for International Development committed GBP500,000, almost USD1 million, in support of an initiative that would provide Africa’s poorest citizens with access to financial services. “With foreign investment into microfinance across the globe tripling to USD4 billion between 2004 and 2006, the impact of microfinance is being felt all over the world. There is an urgent need to improve business and management skills in the microfinance industry in Africa to make sure this money is used to help people from the world’s poorest communities,’ said British prime minister Gordon Brown after meeting with Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Group, which agreed to act as DFID’s partner in this venture. “As a first step we will provide GBP500,000 towards bridging the skills gap in the microfinance industry in Africa, which will be more than matched by the private sector. We will bring together civil society organizations, and the private sector to contribute the funding, knowledge and skills required to bring microfinance to those who need it most,” added the prime minister. (Press release: Gordon Brown announces plans to unlock the power of financial services for Africa?s poor/DFID)

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