About ACFB

Benin Map

The Association des Caisses de Financement à la Base (ACFB) was formally established as a microfinance institution in 2004, although it had been providing financial services as a non-governmental organisation since 1995. As well as offering savings facilities it supplies individual as well as group loans, mainly to women microentrepreneurs who are engaged in a range of small-scale commercial activities and agricultural and livestock production. ACFB has its head office in Benin's largest city, Cotonou, and at present eight branches, six of which are in rural areas. During 2014 ACFB plans to open another four branches in the less populated north of Benin.


What is ACFB’s mission?

ACFB aims to ‘provide economically disadvantaged sectors of the population, particularly women, with quality and sustainable financial and non-financial services’.


What types of financial services do ACFB provide?

ACFB offers loans for agriculture, business and trade as well home repairs, health and education. It also offers savings facilities and insurance through a partner. All borrowers must maintain savings accounts.


How much interest does ACFB charge?

Microfinance institutions (MFIs) charge higher rates of interest for several reasons. Firstly, the administrative costs of making many small loans are much higher than making fewer larger loans; secondly, they take more time assessing the feasibility of applications and thereby reducing risk because borrowers cannot offer traditional forms of collateral nor do they have salaried incomes; thirdly MFIs often operate in geographically remote areas with low population densities and this means that they incur greater operational costs; and fourthly they often accompany loans with a range of training and technical advice. In addition, inflation is generally higher than in countries such as the UK. ACFB charges annual rates of interest of between 13-20% on a declining balance. Interest rates at the lower end are for loans less than US$2,000.


Does ACFB provide any training?

Yes, ACFB does provide basic training for borrowers in the following areas:

· Basic literacy

· Bookkeeping and simple accounting

· Credit and savings management

· Health education in the prevention of malaria and sexually transmitted diseases, better reproductive health and   better personal and household hygiene

· Marketing


Where can I find out more information about ACFB?

ACFB posts its profile on Mix Market at http://www.mixmarket.org/mfi/acfb


ACFB: Basic facts and figures

Full name:   Association des Caisses de Financement à la Base (ACFB)
Established:   2004
Proportion of loans given to women:   90%
Average loan size:   US$177
Number of active borrowers:   27,353
Number of depositors:   61,160
Gross loan portfolio:   US$5,220,213 as of January 2014
Deposits:   US$4,100,000
Portfolio At Risk (PAR) at 30 days:   6%
(This information was updated in January 2014)


Benin: Basic facts and figures

Country:   Benin
Capital:   Porto Novo
Official language:   French
Population:   8.9 million (2009 estimate)
GDP per capita:   $727
Inflation:   3.3%
Human Development Index ranking:   166 (of 187 countries)
Proportion of population living on less than $2 per day:   75.3%
Adult literacy rate:   41%
Under 5 Infant mortality rate (per 1000):   121
Life expectancy:   60 (Men) 62 (Women)
Currency:   Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XOF)

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