Association of Microfinance Institutions in Uganda (AMFIU)
Who We Are
The Association of Microfinance Institutions of Uganda (AMFIU) is an umbrella organization of microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Uganda.
What We Do
- Research and Advocacy
- Capacity Building
- Client Protection
- Information Collection and
- Microfinance and Disability
How to Work With Us
- Advertise With Us
- Become a Partner
News and Events
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What We Do
AMFIU was created mainly for the purpose of having a common voice to lobby government to provide a favorable policy environment; share information and experience; and to link up and network with both local and international Microfinance actors.
Research and Advocacy
This programme focuses on conducting studies on contemporary issues in microfinance and publishing success stories and best practices at industry and institutional levels. It also focuses on enhancing a shared understanding of the microfinance issues in the country through dialogue.
AMFIU lobbies government at various levels to influence it in the development of an appropriate policy framework for microfinance practitioners. This is done based on researched data. The MDI Act (2003) for example was a result of AMFIU’s lobbying efforts. Recently, AMFIU actively participated developing the regulatory framework for tier 4 institutions.
The overall objective of this programme is to the build capacity of MFIs in the 7 principles of client protection to promote transparency between MFIs and their clients for greater efficiency and a market driven industry. In addtion a consumer code of practice has been developed and approved by AMFIU member MFIs. All MFIs ought to adhere to this code.
Digital Financial Services
Digital Financial Services (DFS) are fast evolving in the parts of the world. The Association of financial institutions in Uganda (AMFIU) has been at the forefront of advocacy, lobbying and ensuring client protection in Uganda. Digital Financial Services (DFS) has captivated the Microfinance Industry in Uganda and key stakeholders and regulators recognize the need for developing guidelines for DFS and ensuring client protection.
Dgital channels are now an effective delivery channel for improving access to and usage of financial services, where the high cost of building and operating traditional bank branches has been a major obstacle for reaching remote, sparely-populated communities. Poor infrastructure and high travel costs make traveling to urban areas unaffordable for many rural people.
While DFS is still in its infancy, it is already being harnessed by financial service providers such as banks, microfinance institutions and mobile network operators (MNOs), who use mobile phones and point-of-sale devices, along with networks of small-scale agents, to offer basic financial services at greater convenience and sometimes at a lower cost than traditional banking.
Banks and MNOs are increasing their presence and penetration into remote rural areas through authorized agents and merchant points, where customers can interact with agents (often small or microenterprise owners) to conduct financial transactions such as depositing and withdrawing cash, paying bills and transferring money.
Mobile phones present the greatest opportunity for reaching the financially excluded. Recent significant advances in technology and affordability of mobile technology offers a promising channel to provide access to the formal financial system to the financially underserved, in turn expected to improve living standards and reduce poverty. Mobile money, mobile wallets or e-wallets allow customers to make payments and transfers, save money securely, purchase phone top-ups and more.
AMFIU has been training it’s members and creating awareness among their customers on the opportunities of utilizing technology but this has been done on a limited scope
Water Supply and Sanitation
AMFIU entered into a partnership with an American NGO Water.Org to support AMFIU members in developing a Water Credit loan facility. 28 Members of AMFIU expressed interest to be part of the project. The Water Credit facility addresses the social performance impact of the institutions towards the client.
While some Financial Institutions offer consumption and education products, some do not lend extensively for home improvement, and do not offer customized Water Supply and Sanitation finance products. The majority of Financial Institutions prioritize business lending for income generating purposes. The concept of microfinance for water and sanitation is completely new in many areas. Thus there is still a huge unmet demand especially for water and sanitation needs. Clients are forced to take business loans and later divert them in meeting their WSS needs, which may not be in both the Financial Institutions and borrower interest. The introduction of a Water supply and Sanitation loan product will add into the institutions profits and also address the social impact of the institution to their clients.
A base line report on the actual status and demand for change in line with water and sanitation was conducted and revealed that a majority 77% of respondents who were also clients of MFIs would appreciate a change in the current state of water and sanitation.
Social Performance Management
AMFIU noted an increasing demand, both internationally and locally for the need for MFIs to systematically report on their social mission. AMFIU started educating, sensitizing, promoting and building capacity of the members to be able to capture and report on their social mission.
AMFIU, as a national apex offers a global perspective that is difficult for individual MFIs to achieve but is able to share industry experience, best practices, offer informed technical support and mobilize the resources necessary to develop approaches to SPM.
Broadly, AMFIU as network is not only best suited to promote SPM but also stands to benefit the following by promoting SPM;
- Disseminating local information: AMFIU has a unique and advantaged position as a recognized national apex to share local and regional SP information with technical assistance providers and investors.
- Providing the stakeholders with the necessary information and services. To gain a competitive fundraising advantage, MFIs need to demonstrate that they are not only achieving their financial goals but that they are also achieving the social mission they were set up to achieve. AMFIU is in a position where it can easily provide this kind of information to the stakeholders, investors, donors and the MFIs.
- Supporting pro-microfinance policy: To advocate for a pro-microfinance policy and regulation, there is need to demonstrate the sector’s contribution to the common good. Encouraging members to track, report and discuss social performance outcomes helps the association arm itself with data to support its advocacy work.
- Supporting a balance growth: Promoting social as well as financial performance will breed a healthy growth among the members of the association. MFIs that are only required to manage and report on their financial performance are likely to suffer from a mission drift.
- Reducing Reputational Risk: The microfinance industry has come under increased scrutiny as stakeholders from microfinance clients, to funders and governments demand greater transparency and measurable results that demonstrate the effects of microfinance on the poor. Therefore, it is essential that the microfinance industry is able to legitimately demonstrate their commitment to the social outcomes of their work
To help institutions integrate SPM, AMFIU developed a guide on integrating SPM into institutions
In 2012 the SEEP network produced a case study report about SPM activities in Uganda. The report can be downloaded here
Join the Smart Campaign for Client Protection
The Smart Campaign is a global campaign committed to embedding client protection practices into the institutional culture and operations of the microfinance industry. Further information can be found here
Information Collection and Dissemination
AMFIU has positioned itself as the information hub of the microfinance industry in Uganda. This is being done through research, baseline studies, and the establishment of a microfinance resource centre and consolidating performance monitoring tool (PMT) data through a central database, the performance monitoring system (PMS). Stakeholders can access a wide range of information on microfinance in Uganda and worldwide from AMFIU. AMFIU also publishes a quarterly newsletter as a tool for information exchange.
In addition, AMFIU organizes quarterly microfinance industry information exchange meetings where stakeholders share and discuss the latest issues affecting the microfinance industry.
Visit the Information and Resources section of this website to see publications from AMFIU
Microfinance and Disability
This is a programme which is being implemented to create equal opportunities for People With Disabilities (PWDs) to access financial services. AMFIU partnered with National Union of Disabled persons of Uganda, NUDIPU, and NAD the funding partner, to promote equalization of opportunities for persons with disabilities to access financial services. The program rebranded into the i-SAVE economic empowerment program that is taking a more integrated approach through strategies of; promotion of access to formal financial services, entrepreneurship skills development as well assess to informal financial services, the we Can manage project of VSLA.
The iSAVE program works with local communities to encourage the establishment of village savings and credit groups. The groups are self-selected and managed by persons with disabilities, but also include non-disabled members such as caretakers of persons with disabilities and other people in the community. These groups are then engaged in extensive training on how to develop and maintain a savings and credit group that is member-owned and self-managed. Being village-based, it has no external liabilities, and all profit from interest is kept within the group. When the group reaches a certain level of maturity the members are linked to formal financial services (i.e. licensed microfinance institutions – MFIs).
A number of activities have been implemented and these include sensetisation of MFIs to be sensitive to the financial needs of the PWDs and therefore tap their market potential. The PWDs are also sensitised to be economically active and therefore be able to access financial services. This have seen a big progress in Inclusion of persons with disabilities in financial services. More institutions have come up to commit to work with the Programme so that they are technically supported to make their services disability Inclusive. MOUs have been signed with a number of MFIs as a sign of commitment to the cause.
Performance and Monitoring
The Performance Monitoring Tool(PMT) 2009 is essentially a tool to capture data from an institution’s accounting and portfolio system via an input form or an import function; based on this data it creates financial reports and ratios to be used by an institution’s management. It is not a comprehensive Management Information System, and shouldn’t be seen as a substitute for this. However, it collects, stores and computes key financial data in a systematic way providing value for any financial institution.
The purpose of the PMT is to enable MDIs, MFIs, SACCOs and financial institutions involved in microfinance to self monitor, report and receive feedback on their progress against relevant performance standards and peer groups in a coherent and transparent way. This will contribute to improved risk management and promote adherence to minimum requirements and good practices within the entire industry, thus improving financial services available to existing as well as prospective clients. While saving valuable time spent on reporting for the various financial institutions, this will also ensure the availability of more comprehensive and accurate information on the sector, and serve as a cornerstone for regulation and policy making for Uganda’s financial system as a whole.
Microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Uganda voluntarily use the PMT to report on their financial performance. The tool captures data from an institution’s accounting and portfolio reports, then aggregates this data to produce meaningful information that is easy for board members, staff, and other key stakeholders to understand and interpret. Once AMFIU receives an organization’s data from the PMT, it is stored in the central database, the PMS, for further analysis.
- In 2015, AMFIU held the first ever Transparency Awards for the Ugandan microfinance sector. Financial Reporting still stands as an important aspect in the growth and development of the microfinance industry. The popularity of the PMT has increased in the microfinance industry not only in Uganda but also in Rwanda and soon to be in Sudan, Kenya and Tanzania. To appreciate the users and to encourage the non-users, AMFIU held the “AMFIU TRANSPARENCY AWARDS” for the first time ever during the national Microfinance conference in January 2015.Institutions were awarded on the basis of best performing in terms of ( profitability, efficiency, liquidity and portfolio quality) and best reporting( Consistent and on time). A total of 26 institutions were awarded both PMT and SPM awards combined. Since then, this activity has continued to be on the AMFIU calendar annually.
- The online version of PMT was launched in 2022 and can be accessed at https://pmt.amfiu.org.ug To start using the system and get feedback, contact email@example.com
Using the combined PMS and PMT, AMFIU aims to increase MFI transparency, and hence accountability. Ultimately, these help to bring the best microfinance services to the people of Uganda.
AMFIU is the custodian of the Performance Monitoring Tool
How You Can Work With Us
At AMFIU We have Several Available Opportunities for Partnership; We Welome all Prospective Friends and Partners to Be Part
Advertise With Us
A growing number of people come daily to the AMFIU website to access information about micro-finance in Uganda.
This has put us in the privileged position of being able to reach the masses on behalf of our friends and sponsors.
Therefore, if you would also like your organization’s voice to be heard, click here become an advertiser.
Become A Partner
With each passing year, our workload here at AMFIU increases.
We would not be able to manage everything that we do if it was not for the help of our dedicated and faithful partners.
We urge whoever feels they can contribute to micro-finance in Uganda to partner with us.
Click here to view all our other partners