Microfinance institutions (MFIs) work with a client base that is for the most part excluded from the formal banking system. Given that they operate by collecting the savings of the poor in rural areas, it is important to develop regulatory frameworks to protect the clients of these institutions. Two approaches are typically used to regulate MFIs: either modifying the existing regulations, or proposing new ones. A book entitled Réglementation et supervision des institutions de microfinance en Afrique centrale presents a review of regulation and oversight of MFIs in four central African countries: Cameroon, Congo, Gabon and Chad.
This book is the product of a project funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) within the context of the “Globalization, Growth and Poverty” program. Each country's case study was conducted by a prominent researcher or specialist in the field. In terms of the issues these countries face regarding the sustainability of MFIs, the book should serve as a reference on the challenges surrounding regulation and oversight of these institutions. It should also help the scientific community, decision-makers and other development partners to better understand and navigate the ins and outs of MFI regulation and oversight.
Elias T. Ayuk is the Director of the United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA) in Accra, Ghana, and was previously a Senior Program Specialist with the International Research Development Centre (IDRC).
Georges Kobou is a Professor of Economics and Honorary Dean of the School of Economics and Management, University of Yaoundé II, in Cameroon.