This story came to our attention through Microcapital. Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, the parent company of Ecobank, the leading regional banking Group in West and Central Africa serving wholesale and retail customers, and ACCION International a global microfinance network, announced their partnership to open microfinance banks in 20 African countries. Ecobank has a network covering 18 countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central Africa, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sao Tome, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tchad and Togo, with plans to establish presence in East and Southern Africa. The Group has a network of over 320 branches and offices. The two institutions started their collaboration in December 2006. According to the Accion's press release "ACCION will work with Ecobank to develop a regional banking platform that will deliver financial service products to micro- and small entrepreneurs in African countries within the Ecobank network. These products may comprise loans as low as $100, savings and insurance products, and related financial services, all designed to help lift people out of poverty. Over the next three to five years, ACCION will work with Ecobank to develop a comprehensive mix of tailored financial products that will be distributed through its existing branch network, and introduce alternative delivery channels such as ATMs, point-of-sale terminals and cell phone banking."
Another partnership that is making sense.