The Zimbabwe Association of Microfinance Institutions (ZAMFI) is currently the sole association of microfinance institutions in Zimbabwe, formed in 1999 as a trust. ZAMFI was established following a recommendation by participants from the Small Enterprise Education Promotion (SEEP) Micro enterprise Conference of January 1997 held in Zimbabwe. The original goal was to provide a vehicle for structured learning and to coordinate efforts in addressing institutional and policy hurdles to the sustainable development of microfinance industry in Zimbabwe.
The four funding partners instrumental in the formation of ZAMFI were USAID, HIVOS, KAF and DFID. Over the years various development partners, among others CIDA, SIDA, SEEP, GIZ, The Lead Trust, LDS, SNV, CGAP, ILO and UNDP have contributed to the development of the microfinance sector through ZAMFI.
Some ZAMFI milestones
Since its formation, ZAMFI has made several notable achievements. Below are a few highlights.
1999 & 2000
- ZAMFI formed. Secretariat engaged.
- Gained local and international recognition.
- SEEP Regional Workshop: Strengthening the Microfinance Industry- the role of National Networks.
- ARMS 2000 (Africa Region Micro Credit Summit): this was an international summit hosted by ZAMFI
- Regulation and Supervision Meeting in RSA
- ZAMFI Code of Ethics produced
- ZAMFI registered as a Trust and a member of African Microfinance Network (AFMIN)
- ZAMFI Chairman elected SAMCAF Chairman
- Microfinance Information eXchange Workshop
- Started implementing performance indicators
- Penalties for non-compliance put in place
- Study report on Review of Microfinance Institutions’ Regulatory Framework in Zimbabwe.
- Study visit to Uganda and Kenya with Ministry of Finance, RBZ on regulation and supervision of MFIs. Sponsored by WWB and AFMIN
- Part of the Zimbabwe National Taskforce on MFIs
- Commissioned a study on a credit bureau for MFIs (including MLIs). Study was funded by SNV.
- MFI Expo: Commemorated UN International Year of Microcredit
- Secured sponsorship to send 5 MFIs to the Micro credit Summit in Canada
- Through the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development,won the $50,000 UNDP funding for 3 MFIs
- MFIs included in the ZW$16 billion facility that was being disbursed by the Central Bank
- Won funding from SEEP to develop ZAMFI business and strategic plans
- Bid and won short term grant for members training from CITI bank through SEEP
- ZAMFI Chairperson elected AFMIN Vice President
- SME/MFI Expo opened by the late Vice President Joseph Msika
- National Taskforce activities
- Capacity Building
- ILO YES JUMP Project (Youth Employment Support – Jobs for the Unemployment and Marginalized People) Study on Mapping the Demand and Supply for Microfinance in Goromonzi, Gokwe and Norton
- Establishment of a Credit Bureau recommended
- Study on Rebuilding the Microfinance Sector in Zimbabwe
- National Microfinance Policy in place
- FRAME regional workshop: opened by President R.G. Mugabe
- Won bid to host AFMIN continental Conference and AGM
- Voted SEEP Network of the year
- Established the Zimbabwe Microfinance Wholesale Facility
- Draft Microfinance Bill awaits discussion in Parliament
- Resuscitated gender, and HIV and AIDS mainstreaming programme.
- Institutionalised rural microfinance programme
- Increased visibility and representation
- Intensified capacity building
- First ZAMFI Annual Microfinance Conference – July 2012
- Microfinance Act passed into law to govern the sector
- Commence ZAMFI Microfinance Public Lecture Series/Forums
- ZAMFI adopted a new MIS system for the sector
- Won a tender to provide technical consultancy work to Lesotho Ministry of Finance
- Designed a Microfinance Act Compliance Checklist
- Intensified support of agriculture value chain financing in rural district areas
- Attended regional and international conference on Microfinance, SMEs and SACCOs
- Offered technical assistance to other network associations in the region
- Staff member certified as Greening Performance Analysis Trainer/Consultant.
- Study visit to PKSF, Bangladesh
- Inaugural MFI CEO Summer School, Nyanga
- ZAMFI elected Africa Microfinance Network (AFMIN) board member
- Amendment to the Microfinance Act put into motion
2017 – 2019
- Second, third and fourth Winter Schools held in Great Zimbabwe (Masvingo), Kariba and Nyanga
- 2019 edition of the Winter School to be held in Kariba 16 – 18 May 2019
- 2018 ZAMFI held inaugural Microfinace Excellence Awards
- Microfinance Amendment Bill launched into motion by the Government of Zimbabwe
- ZAMFI participates in Parliament of Zimbabwe Portfolio Committee public hearings in Harare, Mutare, Masvingo and Bulawayo