ADA Chair: when academic knowledge meets microfinance expertise

The ADA Chair in Financial Law was born following a memorandum of understanding signed between ADA and the Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance of the University of Luxembourg. This partnership aims to connect ADA's expertise with the academic world in order to meet the needs for knowledge and research in inclusive finance.

Chaire ADA

The development of financial inclusion largely depends on the regulatory framework, which must constantly adapt to changing environments and new players (money transfer companies, mobile operators, FinTech, etc.) in developing countries. In this context, regulators and MFIs need to evolve regulatory texts and their supervisory practices in the sector.

It is in this context that the ADA Chair in Financial Law was born on October 6, 2014, following a memorandum of understanding signed between ADA and the Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance of the University of Luxembourg. This partnership aimed to connect ADA's expertise with the academic world in order to meet the needs for knowledge and research in inclusive finance.

Dirk Zetzsche

March 1, 2016, Professor Dirk Zetzsche is appointed Chairholder. He provides training at the Faculty and develops research on financial law and regulation, in partnership with Universities both from North and South. The Chair's activities are around academic research, teaching and microfinance outreach on innovative topics at the intersection of inclusive finance, financial regulation and FinTech.

Managed by the University of Luxembourg within the Faculty and piloted jointly with ADA, the Chair is co-financed 50% by both parties, 250 000 € per year each. With more than 50% of microfinance investment funds domiciled in Luxembourg, this agreement between ADA and the University is a unique opportunity to strengthen the role and expertise of the Grand Duchy in microfinance.

Activities of the Chair

1. Teaching
Academic teaching: in 2017, Professor Dirk Zetzsche taught about 80 hours of financial law to Master's students at Uni. His courses focused on wealth management, fund management, risk management, investment policy and FinTech.
Professional education: the first edition of the Certificate in Law and Regulation of the University of Luxembourg was held from January 16 to 26, 2017 in partnership with ADA and the BEI Institute. Aimed at the authorities in charge of regulating this sector (central banks, etc.), the heads of microfinance institutions and providers of digital financial services, the training brought together 22 participants from 16 developing countries, allowing that way to share experiences and knowledge transfer on topics related to governance, risk management and regulation in inclusive finance.

2. Knowledge sharing
- June 2017, the ADA Chair contributed to the 5th European Microfinance Research Week in Portsmouth, in cooperation with e-MFP and the European Research Center for Microfinance (CERMi): 90 research papers were selected and two panels were animated on the future of microfinance and regulation.
- November 28, 2017: the Chair organized a research conference on inclusive finance at the University of Luxembourg during the European Microfinance Week. Several international speakers presented their research projects.

3. Research
Twenty academic articles have been published on topics of financial law. A research collaboration was initiated with Professor Ross Buckley of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, one of the most recognized researchers in the field of inclusive digital finance. 4 FinTech articles dealing with regulating providers of non-financial services, crowdfunding and smart regulation of innovation were published at this issue.

Participants in the 2018 Certificate in Law and Regulations testify

Participants Certificat 2018

Tasia Marina Da Costa Quelhas works in compliance at Vodafone M-Pesa, a mobile phone-based money transfer, financing and microfinancing service in Mozambique (on the right):
"Coming from the commercial side, it was very interesting for me to be in a room with so many regulators. Mobile money is a relatively new development. I meet a lot of regulators and this programme has helped me see things from a different perspective.”

Josué toho, Advisor for Financial Inclusion, Innovation and Resource Mobilisation to the Benin government (on the left):
"The programme delivered important input on law, regulation and all different aspects of financial inclusion. As for me, the sharing of experiences was a key highlight. Coming from the regulatory side, it was good to hear how people are doing on the ground, what might be the next steps and keeping in touch with reality.”

Participants in the 2017 Certificate in Law and Regulations testify

Btissam Derdari

Btissam Derdari, risk management analyst at the Central Bank of Morocco:

"With many years of experience in microfinance, I was looking for training that would allow me to strengthen my knowledge and exchange with participants from new horizons. These 2 weeks of training allowed me to meet practitioners from several countries and to learn new approaches to regulation and supervision in the field of microfinance. The Certificate is a rich experience both in terms of content and sharing and networking opportunities, I highly recommend it."

Btissam has since joined the ADA staff within the Investment Department.

Temitope Akin-Fadeyi, Head of the Financial Inclusion Secretariat at the Central Bank of Nigeria:

Temitope Akin-Fadeyi"The course provided me with deep insights into the regulation for Inclusive Finance and covered critical areas such as business policy and compliance, risk management, AML-CFT obligations, law and ethics. I particularly found the session on Regulatory Sandboxes quite relevant in safely testing and scaling up innovations for digital financial services. The web-based SIMFI simulation for Microfinance institutions was quite an eye opener into potential impacts of management decisions on regulatory requirements and business objectives. The blend of the training faculty and the onsite interactions with practitioners contributed immensely to the overall delivery. It was a most engaging and impactful two weeks learning experience".



4th edition of the Certificate in Law and Regulation of Inclusive Finance!

From January 20 to 30, 2020, at the Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance of the University of Luxembourg

Launched in January 2017, the Certificate in Law and Regulation of Inclusive Finance is a joint project of the ADA Chair in Financial Law (Inclusive Finance) at the Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance of the University of Luxembourg, with ADA and the European Investment Bank Institute. 

Aimed at regulators, intermediaries and other inclusive financial bodies, the programme aims to raise awareness of the subject of law and regulation in the inclusive financial sector, enabling an exchange with regulators and financial intermediaries and facilitating further academic and non-academic cooperation. Divided into 4 modules, the course comprises 72 teaching units over 10 days.

This year we welcomed a class of 23 participants from 17 different countries: Armenia, Belgium, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Jordan, Lesotho, Luxembourg, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda and Uganda.  

On 30 January, all received their certificates at the closing ceremony held at the European Investment Bank.

Certificate partners: ADA, EIB Institute and MAEE.

Download the leaflet

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