Ecobank, ACCION Partnership to Open Microfinance Banks in 20 African Countries
Blessing Anaro, BusinessDay, July 05, 2007

Africa’s regional bank, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, parent of the Ecobank Group, and Accion International, a world pioneer and leader in microfinance, have completed plans to expand microfinance in Africa.

In the next five years, the partners plan to open microfinance banks in at least 20 countries across the continent, thereby creating the largest regional platform for offering comprehensive financial services to the vast population of informal sector players that have been largely un-banked and under-banked.

A statement by the bank says, when fully implemented, the plan has the potential of becoming one of the largest bank down-scaling efforts in the world.

The commitment of the two partners to the collaboration derives from the complimentarity of their strategic corporate objectives; ECOBANK is pursuing a pan-African strategy and is passionate about the development of Africa and its peoples while ACCION is committed to the global fight against poverty, by giving the poor financial services required to enable them work their way out of poverty.

The partnership is leveraging fully the strengths and competencies of the two institutions. ACCION is world-renowned in microfinance and has over 3 decades of experience in running microfinance institutions across Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and sub-Saharan Africa and in the United States. And ECOBANK has a large regional network and infrastructure, multi-cultural, and local knowledge of Africa resulting in a strong regional brand with presence in over 18 countries.