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Ecobank, ACCION launch MFB operations in Cameroon

The first two branches of EB-ACCION Microfinance have opened in Douala at the Mboppi and Congo markets. They will also offer micro-insurance and money transfer…

The first two branches of EB-ACCION Microfinance have opened in Douala at the Mboppi and Congo markets. They will also offer micro-insurance and money transfer services to Cameroonians who currently find it difficult to open bank accounts in the country’s commercial banks.

It is envisaged that EB-ACCION Microfinance will enlist 83,000 savings accounts holders in its first five years of operation, with total deposits of around US$36 million. During the same period, the institution expects to serve 33,000 active borrowers with an outstanding loan portfolio of US$37 million.

A staff of about 50 Cameroonians have been recruited and will be supervised by a team of senior managers, including ACCION experts.

Speaking on the new venture, Ecobank Chief Executive officer, Arnold Ekpe, said the launch of EB-ACCION Cameroon marks the beginning of our objective to reach out to the under banked population in Central Africa .

“Ecobank is committed to extending banking services to the low income, small and micro entrepreneurs in Africa. Working with our partners, Accion, we have made progress in other parts of Africa,” Mr Ekpe added.

Michael Schlein, President of ACCION, said: “After two years of successful partnership with Ecobank in Ghana, we begin work in Cameroon with tremendous confidence in our ability to provide opportunities and help entrepreneurs and working families to improve their living standards. We are also co-investors with Ecobank and some other international investors in Accion Microfinance Bank in Nigeria. EB-ACCION Microfinance is a testimony to our commitment to building inclusive finance in some of the world’s most challenging and underserved markets.”

EB-ACCION Microfinance will leverage Ecobank’s existing branch infrastructure, payment service and distribution networks to maximize operational efficiency and control costs.

Over the next two years, EB-ACCION Microfinance plans to extend operations to other cities in Cameroon, including Yaounde , Bafoussam, Garoua and Maroua. The service may also be extended in future to other countries in the region.


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