Central Bank Allows Microfinance Institutions to Evolve into Banks

Aug 22 , 2020

The National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE), in a directive issued last week, has allowed microfinance institutions to upgrade into full-fledged banks. The directive lays out the criteria for which microfinance institutions are eligible for this transition. Accordingly, microfinance institutions with a strong financial footing and with regional governments or city administrations as shareholders, which accounts for more than 70pc of the industry, are deemed qualified. It also states that institutions will have a period of two years to finalise their transition into banks. However, a transitioned microfinance institution, while performing the regular services of a bank, must not neglect the main aim of its establishment, according to Yinager Dessie (PhD), governor of the central bank. The institutions must continue to serve and provide loans to the small and medium enterprises and the low-income individuals they were established to serve. Currently, there are 38 microfinance institutions in the country, accounting for 41.6 billion Br in mobilised savings deposits.



A street lamp around Addis Abeba Stadium melds into the concrete backdrop emblematic of the capital's ageing infrastructure. Over the past few years, Ethiopia's electric grid has been subject to destruction and theft, subjecting the public treasury to hundreds of millions in losses. Nearly half of the country's population does not have access to electricity. A series of projects by the World Bank has contributed to the slight but essential upgrade to the nation's grid, including a 500 million do...



A trio of donkeys drag along the main road in front of Menlik School around the Arat Kilo area. While the four-legged domestic animal is a venerated member of the Ethiopian labour force, its skin and meat are increasingly valued in the international markets. Rhong Chang, a donkey slaughterhouse operating in Assela Town, Oromia Regional State reopened its services after a seven-year break two years ago. Public outroar has often accompanied the entrance of donkey abattoirs into Ethiopia since anot...



A bustling market emerges under a bridge in the boroughs of the Bole Michael area. Addis Abeba City Administration has launched a series of aesthetic initiatives embalmed in themes of beautification and urbanisation that have removed thousands of shops built with makeshift tents. Above a quarter of Addis Abeba's labour force is engaged in the informal economy, which while often associated with connotations of illegality, remains a sizeable employer in emerging economies across the world. Calibra...