AFMIN Governance: Membership Criteria
The Africa Microfinance Network (AFMIN) is a newly established regional association of country-level microfinance networks in Africa that has the status of an international non-governmental organization. AFMIN’s purpose is to support country-level African microfinance networks, enabling practitioners to exchange experience, build common performance standards, and influence policies to facilitate the growth of microfinance in Africa. The mission of the network is to contribute to the provision of effective and sustainable financial services to the poor in Africa by:
  • supporting the national networks and MFIs to achieve their mission and objectives; and
  • helping to improve the microfinance environment in the region and globally.
AFMIN has an interesting set of membership criteria that they expect potential applicants to have before applying for membership with the network. It highlights the organzational and operational stability that MFI should possess before becoming members of AFMIN.

Its current 13 members (by mandate) are infact country-level networks, and not individual retail microfinance institutions. This decision was based upon the premise that it was a more efficient strategy for harnessing resources, and a more effective approach to building collective bargaining power and representation of the interests of microfinance institutions and low income people. Fundamental to this principle was the agreement that AFMIN will be a network of strong, operational networks.



Be legally constituted

  • Legally allowed to operate in country of origin; and

  • Obtain a registration document or letter from responsible government agency acknowledging receipt of application for registration.

  • Registration to be concluded within one year of membership in AFMIN.

Have a roster of at least five MFI members representative of significant client reach

  • List of members showing their organizational type; and

  • Number of direct clients reached by each MFI member with savings and/or credit products; and

  • Estimate of total clients reached by all MFIs in the country; and

  • Justification of significant reach (official statistics may be provided where available).  

Have a full time coordinator

  • A salaried Managing Director or full-time salaried person responsible for implementing network activities.

Have a permanent Secretariat

  • A physical address; and

  • A functional office.

Have a business plan

  • At least a one-year plan of action and a budget.

Be providing services to members

  • Have provided services within last 12 months; and

  • Have plans to provide services within next 12 months.

Commitment to performance-based criteria

  • Evidence of a process of developing knowledge and understanding of performance indicators among members and/or evidence of a process of building consensus on performance standards among members (e.g., workshops, meetings, publications); and

  • Signature to membership agreement of AFMIN, which includes statement on commitment to performance-based criteria.

Hari Srinivas -
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