The Première Agence de Microfinance (PAMF), an institution of the Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance (AKAM), was established in 2006 to serve Mali, Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire.

AKDN/Lucas Cuervo Moura

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The Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance (AKAM) established the Première Agence de Microfinance (PAMF) Burkina Faso and PAMF Mali in 2006 and now serves clients in Burkina Faso through five branches and in Mali through two branches. In 2008 AKAM established PAMF Côte d’Ivoire, which has two branches (image of Korhogo branch).

The number of beneficiaries in the three institutions was 18,036 in 2010. The value of outstanding loans was US$ 3.8 million. Women accounted for 40 percent of borrowers at the end of the year. Currently, PAMF’s activities and branches are overwhelmingly concentrated in rural areas and on rural products that work in synergy with the economic and social development activities of other AKDN agencies.

AKDN/Lucas Cuervo Moura

Loans for Individuals and Enterprises

Loans for income-generating activities continue to represent the largest proportion of loans provided by our entities. These loans cover a large spectrum of sectors and industries, ranging from livestock and planting to trading or production. Loan terms and conditions are designed to reflect the various cash flows from those sectors, and to fit clients’ needs as closely as possible.

AKAM entities also provide consumer loans to help clients invest in housing, education and health. Although these loans only represent a small portion of the overall AKAM portfolio, clients have shown increasing interest in them for cash-flow smoothing, paying medical expenses and tuition fees, and improving housing. These loans have a direct impact on the clients as they meet their day-to-day needs, and allow AKAM to improve the quality of life of the poor.

Many women must provide for their families, but have less ability than men to convince an institution that they are creditworthy. They may use credit to raise chickens or buy a cow, to start a tailoring shop or two-room school, independently supporting themselves and their children.

In addition to our main microfinance activities, we support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to create jobs or stimulate increased economic activity. Despite their importance to economic growth and employment, many SMEs find it extremely difficult to access financial services, particularly long-term loans that fit their needs. They are often considered too risky by mainstream banks, as they are perceived to be either too small or to have insufficient collateral or credit histories to be able to secure loans or financing from traditional commercial banks. As a result, SMEs are caught in a gap between the growing supply of finance for micro-entrepreneurs and the mainstream market for traditional business financing. AKAM entities work to fill this gap and provide accessible and tailored financial services for SMEs.

We have a long-term commitment to the geographical areas in which we work. We focus on poverty alleviation through innovative product design based on the clearly understood needs of the target clients, effective management and the introduction of new initiatives to enhance access to financial services for poor and low-income households.