Microfinance system development
Title: Programme for microfinance system development in the DR Congo
Client: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Lead executing agency: Ministère des Finances
Overall term: 2012 to 2021
For several years the financial sector in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been expanding. New microfinance institutions and savings and loan associations are being formed, and a number of commercial banks are gradually discovering micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) as a target group.
Even so, the financial sector is still severely underdeveloped. The total capital of the Congolese banking sector is about half the average for sub-Saharan Africa. The range of financial services is also extremely narrow, and only 5% of the population have a bank account.
According to the World Bank's Doing Business Report 2013, the DRC ranks 176 of 185 countries in the category 'Ease of getting credit'. This rating is based mainly on available credit information and the legal rights of financial institutions and their customers.
The regulatory and institutional environment of the Congolese financial sector is improved.
Sustainable access to financial services is being promoted by building a stable and inclusive financial sector.
The most important partner is the Congolese central bank (Banque centrale du Congo, BCC). Responsible for monetary policy and financial sector regulation and supervision, the central bank is decisive in shaping the environment for the financial sector.
To perform its tasks in accordance with international standards, the central bank has initiated a reform process. GIZ is supporting the change management department in making this process even more effective and efficient. GIZ is also advising the central bank on management of internal risk and IT systems and money processing.
In addition, German development cooperation is promoting the creation of a credit reporting agency. While KfW Development Bank is financing the establishment of the agency, GIZ is advising on formulating a law which will also enable and regulate the exchange of data with telecommunication and utility companies.
GIZ is supporting the development of a strategy for financial literacy for the population, together with approaches to strengthen consumer protection in order to give customer interests adequate consideration.
The programme is intended to stabilise the financial sector generally, and specifically enhance the capacity of the central bank and competence of customers. This promotes better access to sustainable and demand-oriented financial services, which is a contribution towards poverty reduction among the economically active but poor population of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The central bank is able to regulate and monitor the financial sector better. An efficient and stable financial system can reach more people with better services.
The credit reporting agency makes it easier for solvent individuals and profitable business people to get loans. It can also help avoid possible over-indebtedness of customers at risk.
Measures to strengthen consumer protection and promote financial literacy contribute towards enabling (potential) customers to assess the opportunities and risks of financial products, along with the associated rights and obligations, and hence make economically sound decisions.