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  • President Armando Guebuza of Mozambique signs the AKDN guest book following the signing of the agreement announcing the opening of the First Micro Finance Bank in Mozambique as Nazim Ahamed, AKDN Representative and Jacques Toureille of the Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance (AKAM) look on.
The First MicroBank Mozambique is inaugurated as a rural microfinance bank

Pemba, Mozambique, 8 May 2010 - The First MicroBank Mozambique (FMB-M) was inaugurated today, in a ceremony attended by President Armando Guebuza of Mozambique and Governor Eliseu Machava of Cabo Delgado.

Other officials included Mr. Nazim Ahmad, Representative of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) in Mozambique, Mr. Jacques Toureille, the General Manager of the Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance (AKAM), as well as members of the local and provincial government, officials from the Central Bank, members of the diplomatic corps in Mozambique, and senior staff from the AKDN and its agencies.

In his remarks, President Guebuza stated that “from a macro-economic point of view, the opening of the microfinance bank also responds to our policy of encouraging the extension of services of these institutions outside of the capital city Maputo and congratulated the decision of The First MicroBank SA owners to settle in Pemba. He added that "with the presence of this Bank, the people win, the economy wins and Mozambique wins.”

FMB-M was launched in 2004 as a microfinance programme which evolved into a rural micro bank earlier this year. The bank is part of the Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance, (AKAM) which is an international financial institution with the objective of achieving the double-bottom line of maximising social impact while generating growth, expansion, and sustainability. By late 2009, FMB-M had disbursed over 2,000 outstanding loans, amounting to approximately USD 1 million.

Nazim Ahmad explained that the microfinance programme has evolved over the past eight years, culminating in the creation of The First MicroBank. “The microfinance component complements the activities of the Aga Khan Foundation in the province of Cabo Delgado,” he said, noting “the results achieved by our Rural Development Programme are reflected in food security indicators, levels of nutrition, access to education and income generation.”

The microfinance activities in the province of Cabo Delgado are a part of an integrated approach taken by AKDN and its agencies to reach out to remote populations and alleviate poverty. The inauguration of the bank and the procurement of the rural banking license, which permits it to accept public deposits, will enable FMB-M to assist in the impoverished areas of Mozambique’s northern provinces which have the highest poverty rates in Mozambique and lack access to financial services. FMB-M will offer its clients agricultural, entrepreneurial and salary-based loans in urban, peri-urban and rural areas.

For over a decade, Mozambique has championed microfinance as a means of empowering communities to play an active role in the socio-economic development process. In areas where resources are scarce, and financial services are made available to the poor, communities achieve faster economic growth.

For more information, please contact:

Aliyah Esmail Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance
1-3 Avenue de la Paix - 1202 Genève
Tel: +41 22 909 7347
Fax: +41 22 909 7290  

Olivier Massart
Interim CEO of The First MicroBank Mozambique
Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance
Av. 25 de Setembro, 986
Bairro Cimento
Pemba, Mozambique
Tel: +258 (272) 21340

Rui Carimo Management and Programme Liaison Officer
Aga Khan Development Network
Avenida Julius Nyerere 1187
Maputo - Mozambique
Tel: +258 21 49 05 15
Fax: +258 21 49 05 38
Mobile: +258 82 507 11 22