The importance role of microfinance in the development of the economies of Central African countries in particular and South Saharan countries in general need not to be over emphasize. But unfortunately the sector is not properly organized.
According to a study carried out by Central African Banking Commission (COBAC) in collaboration with the Bank of Central African States (BEAC), only 677 out 1000 microfinance establishments in the six countries of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) operate legally after having assessed financially and institutionally.
In order to free the sector from previous scam and reshape its destiny, experts in the sector meet in Yaounde, Cameroon, recently. For three days, the experts discussed ways on how to best to canalize the activities of microfinance establishments through a legal framework that will enhance the environment for their continuous growth.
Philibert Andzembe, Governor of BEAC, emphasized that “the putting in place of a legal framework and cleansing of the sector appears necessary for, this sector has registered very strong expansion in its activities”. He said by the end of 2007, the number of clients served by Microfinance establishments rose to over 1.3 million against 445,000.
Javier Puyol, head of the European Union to Cameroon, underscored the fact that microfinance sector remains a veritable instrument for the fight against poverty. Reason why he enjoined the BEAC governor in calling for the putting in place of a friendly environment for the development of the sector. Consequently the European Union, he said will continue to support all measures aimed at promoting the sector.
Essimi Menye, Cameroon’s minister of finance who presided at the expert meeting saw nothing less than microfinance sector being an indispensable instrument to stimulate the economies of the sub region. Like the head of the European Union to Cameroon, Essimi Menye, considers microfinance as one of the best channels through which countries of the sub-region can get out of poverty.
The minister of finance made it clear that in Cameroon the sector was given and will continue to be given an important place in the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper.