Daily Archives: June 20, 2012

Microfinance finally learns to speak finance

Gotta be honest, I opened CGAP’s latest brief, “Microfinance Investment in Sub-Saharan Africa: Turning Opportunities into Reality” and the first two pages were so depressing I seriously almost stabbed my eye out with a rusty butter knife I keep handy for such occasions.

But then I got to the third page and was encouraged by what I found. Not because microfinance in Africa is booming great guns and everyone has lifted themselves out of poverty forever—it isn’t and they haven’t—but because there’s an unmistakable shift in the way the non-profit side of the industry, at least as represented by CGAP, is talking about efforts to achieve sustainability. Maybe this is a postpartum result of several years of ex-JP Morgan-now-OPIC-chief Elizabeth Littlefield in charge (if you don’t know her, Google her, she’s kind of a badass), but I’ve been watching the industry’s positioning on this for about a decade now and for the first time I…well I refrained from stabbing anyone with a rusty butter knife. That’s progress, right?
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Emerging & Frontier Markets Headlines 2012.06.20

Malaysia exchange-traded derivatives notional value expected to grow 7x by 2020 — FT
StanChart Africa research boss backs Bank of Ghana move to halt dollarization — Ghanaweb
Debating growth in China — Michael Pettis
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