Objectives of the project

Accompany professional associations to promote transparency in the sector in Africa.


Tanzania Association of Microfinance Institutions (TAMFI) and Microfinance African Institutions Network (MAIN)


Collaborating with African networks to amplify financial inclusion


ADA works with professional associations in Africa with the aim of strengthening the capacity of the entire sector in the region. With stronger and more competent associations, microfinance institutions are able to develop services and products that are better adapted to the needs of low-income populations.

Since 2008, ADA has been supporting microfinance professional associations through the provision of technical assistance and the cofunding of annual and multi annual projects. Professional associations are strategic partners and represent one of the best channels to support the sector as a whole in different countries and regions of intervention.
Over the past years, ADA has supported several transparency related projects, such as the co-funding of ratings, the development of tools for the collection, analysis and publication of data, the development of a training on the topic and the promotion of client protection principles.
ADA considers that transparency for African MFIs remains a challenge. Moreover, a lot still needs to be done for the MFI clients to have access to all the necessary information and have the capacity to understand and compare the products on offer so as to make informed decisions.
This is why ADA has decided to support African professional associations that are committed to promoting and strengthening transparency in their respective countries.


MAIN @SAM 2017, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)

Thanks to the partnership with MAIN, we reach 29 African countries! 

MAIN (Microfinance African Institutions Network) is an international non-profit association created in 1995 in Abidjan at the initiative of several institutions with a long experience in microfinance and/or the promotion of micro-enterprises in Africa.

As of 31 December 2019, MAIN has 114 members in 29 countries.

In the same year, the network set up :

  • organization of 11 international conferences,
  • 36 sessions of university programs,
  • 67 thematic training sessions,
  • 12 exchange visits.

A total of 3,737 microfinance practitioners were trained by MAIN and 10 publications were produced by the network in 2019.

ADA's partnership with MAIN is also implemented within the framework of the organisation of the SAM (Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance). The network has been at ADA's side since the 1st edition in 2013.

Together for more transparency in the African sector

ADA has supported the African Microfinance Transparency (AMT) network since 2008. The objective of AMT was to promote transparency within MFIs on the African continent.

In 2016, AMT's Board of Directors took the decision to merge its activities with MAIN which takes over the activities related to the promotion and development of MFI transparency in Africa. Former AMT members were encouraged to join the MAIN network.

In fact, MFI transparency remains a very important issue in Africa, particularly in order to ensure that microfinance clients have the information and capacity to understand and compare the products offered to them and thus make the best possible choice.

In June 2018, ADA proposed to MAIN to collaborate on a project to promote and develop MFI transparency in Africa.

This project is divided into 3 pillars:

  • The provision of tools and capacities so that MAIN can be recognized as a centre of expertise in the field of transparency;
  • The sensitization of the MFIs members of the network so that they define a policy of financial and social transparency, also taking into account the protection and financial education of clients;
  • Some MFIs are selected to implement their transparency policy with the support of MAIN.

Support to TAMFI, an MFI network in Tanzania

ADA strengthens the capacity of professional associations to promote and develop the transparency of the inclusive finance sector in partnership with the national network Tanzania Association of Microfinance Institutions (TAMFI).

According to the FINSCOPE Tanzania 2017 study, of the estimated workforce of 23.2 million, 16.7% of adults are served by banks compared to 9.1% in 2006 while 48.6% are served by non-banks such as MFIs, SACCOS (Savings and Credit Cooperatives Societies), financial NGOs, insurance and mobile payments amounted to 6.7% in 2006. Finally, 28% are excluded from any form of access to financial services. Given the high proportion of exclusion and the enormous challenge of financial inclusion, more holistic, systemic and convergent strategies need to be designed to build an ecosystem that understands the needs and aspirations of the unbanked, especially rural populations.

While the microfinance industry in Tanzania is still in the nascent stage with respect to the legal and regulatory framework, awareness, infrastructure and the development of financial products and services, financial inclusion has become increasingly important. these last years. It is now a political goal to improve the lives of the poor. Access to finance by micro and small enterprises and SMEs is also recognized as a factor in improving productivity, competitiveness and job creation.

The industry faces a number of constraints that must be addressed to enable it to improve its development and sustainability. The main obstacle to the development of microfinance activities in Tanzania is the lack of specific legislation to guide the operations of the microfinance sector.

Networks and professional associations in Africa, strategic partners for the development of transparency

In 2018, TAMFI is composed of 135 members comprising of 7 Commercial banks, 3 Community banks, 4 Microfinance banks, 96 Microfinance Institutions, 5 SACCOS, 5 apexes of informal microfinance groups, 1 micro-insurance company and 14 Business Service Providers. Together, these members provide financial services to approximately 4 million micro entrepreneurs in urban and rural areas.  
As of the end of 2016, according to Ministry of Trade and Industry who issues business licenses to the microfinance Institutions in Tanzania, there is a total of 292 Registered Microfinance Institutions operating country wide. In this regard, TAMFI has 46% of unregulated microfinance institution in the country.  

MFIs rely on national networks and professional associations to develop appropriate financial products and create a favorable environment. TAMFI contributes to the increase and promotion of transparent best practices to ensure the delivery of responsible financial services by member MFIs.

In principle, this involves collecting, formalizing, and disseminating reliable and up-to-date information that is needed by different types of actors who interact with an MFI or analyze the results and trends of the sector.

The collaboration is composed of 3 main pillars:

  • Capacity Building in Transparent Best Practices and Data Collection and Publication: TAMFI organizes and delivers training on transparent best practices and financial and social performance indicators. This will be accompanied by the dissemination of tools and technical assistance to help member MFIs improve their practices and collect and share their data with the association. TAMFI staff members will be trained to maintain skills within the field partner after the end of the project.
  • Implementation of an advocacy strategy to create an enabling environment for the healthy and transparent development of financial inclusion: TAMFI already has strong relationships with the Bank of Tanzania and other government authorities and will use its key position to continue its advocacy and improve the current regulatory framework. Key areas of lobbying include consumer protection laws, encouraging unlicensed MFIs to report their data to the credit bureau to avoid the risk of debt distress in Tanzania. TAMFI will also actively participate in the implementation of the new National Financial Inclusion Framework and the National Education Strategy.
  • Capacity Building in Consumer Protection, Financial Literacy and Social Performance Management: Client Protection Principles and management of social performance are relatively unfamiliar topics in Tanzania's microfinance sector. TAMFI is in a key position to promote and raise awareness on these areas both among regulators and among its member MFIs. Trainings will be organized on the principles of client protection and social performance management and tools such as SPI4 and SMART certifications will be carried out within MFIs wishing to improve their activities. Financial education modules will also be developed based on existing materials. Loan officers will be trained in some MFIs who want to deliver the training and these will be delivered directly to clients.



Promoting and developing transparent practices within the inclusive finance sector in Tanzania

As part of the partnership with the national network TAMFI (Tanzania Association of Microfinance Institutions) to promote transparency, 2 training sessions were held in December 2018 on transparency and financial education in Tanzania.
10 to 12 December, 2018
30 participants – 22 MFIs

The purpose of this 2,5 days workshop is to get a full picture of the various components of transparency and to raise awareness on the industry standards and tools that exist to support improvement and disclosure. At the end of the workshop, participants know where they stand in a transparency graduation process and they leave with a clear action plan to implement.

Transparency workshop

Transparency workshop








‘As a National Microfinance Network, we think Transparency training for TAMFI members could not have come at a better time. We appreciate the support from ADA that has made the training possible. MFIs in Tanzania need such trainings because transparency has remained to be a major challenge to most.’
Winnie Terry,

‘I would like to thank the entire team and the sponsors for arranging such an eye opener and aware creation training. Transparency training was a learning experience and an exposure that is surely helpful. Although practice is required, but with time and dedication, it certainly is worth for all financial providers in the market. Am looking forward for continuous trainings on both workshops for financial providers and TOTs, so we can be pioneers in making the Tanzanian financial market transparent.’
Pendo Massawe
Operations Manager, Tujijenge Tanzania

‘The training was magnificent, relevant and practical. It touches the heart of Microfinance practices that no one could have imagined. As I see it goes beyond increasing business value but far most it creates humanity at business level because it insists on social aspects through transparency. I am sure most MFIs had an opportunity to evaluate their positions on transparency and pricing.’
Godson Mnkhari
Loan Officer, Same Kaya Saccos

‘The training on Transparency has become very useful in my daily job activities. It has alerted me on ensuring that my customers understand all key issues in a loan contract before they sign for a loan. The training also triggered my understanding on the benefits of being transparent and the methods used to calculate interest rates and making comparisons on the APR.’
John M Busobe
Microfinance Services Company Ltd, CRDB Bank Ltd

6 to 7 December, 2018
55 participants – 38 MFIs

This two-day event brought together the leaders of the microfinance sector in Tanzania for a reflective and participatory experience that involves the head, heart and hands. The theme of the retreat was ‘Why financial education matter and how MFIs can promote it’.

Financial education

Financial education








‘Financial Education training was one of its kind. The trainer used participatory methods that made participants to understand easily.’
Naamala Samson
Learning and Development Manager, BRAC Tanzania

‘For me to attend Financial Education training was a worthwhile opportunity. It was a constructive training because it planted elements that are very crucial for the better future and road map of our organization. Our organization can now structure well the agenda of Financial education.’
Thadeus Clamian
Loan Officer

‘We really thank the donors who funded this training and TAMFI at large. Financial education training provided us with ideas on how we can make lots of changes in our working system, including financial education programs.’
Martin M. Ringi
Ringi Enterprises Ltd

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