Kenya’s microfinance sector development
Order ID 53563633773 Type Essay Writer Level Masters Style APA Sources/References 4 Perfect Number of Pages to Order 5-10 Pages
Kenya’s microfinance sector development
Kenya’s microfinance sector has experienced significant growth and development in recent years. Microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Kenya have been able to expand their outreach to low-income populations, increase their loan portfolios, and improve their financial sustainability.
The microfinance sector in Kenya began to take shape in the 1990s, with the establishment of a number of MFIs, including K-Rep Bank, Faulu Kenya, and Micro Enterprise Support Programme Trust (MESPT). These early MFIs focused on providing credit to micro and small enterprises, and were primarily funded by international donors.
In the early 2000s, the Kenyan government recognized the potential of microfinance to reduce poverty and promote economic growth, and began to take steps to support the sector. In 2005, the government passed the Microfinance Act, which established a regulatory framework for MFIs and created the Microfinance Regulatory Authority (MRA) to oversee the sector.
Since then, the microfinance sector in Kenya has grown rapidly. The number of MFIs operating in the country has increased, and they have been able to expand their outreach to low-income populations. According to the Central Bank of Kenya, as of 2020 there were over 70 microfinance institutions operating in the country, serving over 6 million clients, with a loan portfolio of over KES 200 Billion.
One of the key factors driving the growth of the microfinance sector in Kenya has been the emergence of mobile banking technology. In 2007, Safaricom, Kenya’s largest mobile phone operator, launched M-PESA, a mobile money transfer service that allows users to send and receive money via their mobile phones. M-PESA quickly became extremely popular in Kenya, and has been widely adopted by MFIs as a way to disburse loans and collect loan repayments.
The use of mobile banking has significantly increased the speed and efficiency of loan disbursement and repayment, and has also made it possible for MFIs to reach remote, underserved areas. According to a study conducted by the Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Kenya, mobile banking has increased the accessibility of microfinance services in Kenya, and has also led to an increase in the number of microfinance clients who are women and in rural areas.
Another factor contributing to the growth of the microfinance sector in Kenya has been the emergence of group-based lending models. Group-based lending involves a group of individuals who are jointly responsible for the repayment of a loan. This model is particularly effective in reaching low-income populations, as it allows individuals who would not otherwise qualify for a loan to access credit. Group-based lending has also been found to increase loan repayment rates and improve the sustainability of MFIs.
The microfinance sector in Kenya has also been supported by the development of a number of initiatives and programs aimed at improving access to finance for low-income populations. One such initiative is the Credit Reference Bureau (CRB), which was established in 2007 to improve the flow of credit information between financial institutions and other credit providers. The CRB allows financial institutions to access credit information on individuals and businesses, which helps to reduce the risk of lending to low-income populations.
In recent years, the Kenyan government has also been working to improve the regulatory environment for the microfinance sector. In 2017, the government passed the Microfinance Amendment Act, which aims to improve the oversight of MFIs and increase the protection of microfinance clients. The government has also been working to increase the availability of affordable funding for MFIs, through the development of a microfinance deposit-taking institution (MDI) and the establishment of a microfinance guarantee scheme.
Kenya’s microfinance sector development
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