Epargne Sans Frontiere (ESF) an association founded in september 1985, sprang from an original proposition : to bring together financial experts keen to be of service to the developing countries. Although its remit extends to all areas of the developing world, ESF has consistently given priority to Africa, taking the views that it is duty bound to support that continent in its efforts to adapt to economic realities at a time when others have been turning their attention elsewhere.

ESF has specialized in development finance studies, and is open to proposals not only from the financially most developed countries but from practitioners in the least developed countries as well.

For eleven years now ESF has performed an interfacing role, promoting synergy between the various participants in development projects, harnessing savings from North and South for productive ventures, and promoting the creation of new financial products. Its operations revolve around three types of activity.

In pursuit of its aims and drawing on its eleven years experience, ESF organizes a Forum each years, on a topical theme relevant to development finance problems. These events are generally organized in partnership with other institutions.

As well as holding such events in the course of its own operations, it offers its services -logistical support, managerial facilities and its network of contacts - to institutions that need them for the organization of their gatherings.

Setting up working groups
Making full use of its extensive network of contacts, both in higher education and among finance professionals, ESF runs working groups set up to propose practical solutions to development finance problems.

For a number of years ESF has been complementing its tradional operations with activities of a more empiirical nature. On an ad hoc basis, at the request of various bodies, the permanent staff of ESF have carried out a number of field sutdies, the most recent of which are :

  • a comparative analysis of rural finance systems in Africa, based on six case studies, in three French speaking countries (Mali, Cameroon, Tunisia) and three English-Speaking countries (Kenya, Ghana, Zimbabwe);
  • a mission in support of the definition of monetary policy in Sao Tome and Principe ;
  • a fact finding mission on restructuring the financial system in Angola and South Africa, with special emphasis on scope for developing decentralized savings and credit schemes.
ESF also oversees a regional programme of support to decentralized savings and credit schemes intiated by the French Ministry of Cooperation and the Caisse Francaise de Developpement ; the latter monitors the programme from its office in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Conceived as a means of coordinating and building on grass roots initiatives, this programme has the following objectives : to monitor existing schemes, to identify and promote others that promise to meet local needs, to facilitate cooperation between the various operators and sources of finance, and to join in discussions on how these schemes can best be fitted in with the economic environment and banking systems.

ESF's quaterly, "Techniques Financieres et Developpement", aims to disseminate information and foster new initiatives. It has now reached its 50 th issue.

With the growing interest in the topics it covers, it has become a specialized publication written for an increasingly broadly based readership.

Contact Address:
32 Rue Le Peletier
75009 Paris-FRANCE
Tel : 01
Fax : 01
e-mail : esf@imaginet.fr

Access the ESF Website at -


Hari Srinivas - hsrinivas@gdrc.org
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