{MICROFINANCE IN AFRICA } STATE-OF-THE-SECTOR REPORT BRINGING FINANCIAL SERVICES TO AFRICA’S POOR

Beginning in the 1970s, a microfinance revolution swept through Asia and Latin America, helping countless millions of poor people get the economic boost they needed to start small businesses and work their way out of poverty. Somehow, the revolution bypassed Africa: While there are more than 300 million economically active individuals in sub-Saharan Africa, only about 20 million of them – less than 10 percent – have access to any kind of formal financial services. A 2006 World Bank report shows a strong correlation between reductions in poverty and the development of the financial sector. If African countries are to.

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