In rural and remote areas where financial services are not available, many people save, but not in formal institutions. Instead, they buy extra livestock or gold, or they put their cash under a mattress and hope that it will not be stolen. For them, there is nowhere to store money safely. Wherever the regulations allow, AKAM’s institutions accept deposits to help their clients access formal, secure and remunerated savings.
Some institutions, like the Première Agence de Microfinance Côte d’Ivoire (PAMF-CI), work in rural and remote areas. Part of their mission is to make savings accessible to everyone so that they can build their assets and save for the moments they deem important in life, whether it is for the education of a child, a wedding in the family or medical expenses for the birth of a child.
PAMF-CI now has more than 38,000 savings accounts, opening an average of 5,000 accounts per year in recent years. Over 99 percent of PAMF-CI’s depositors are individual savers and they have average savings of less than US$ 100.
Similarly, Première Agence de Microfinance – Burkina Faso’s (PAMF-BF’s) main focus is in rural areas, where the majority of depositors are located. PAMF-BF has now 60,000 savings accounts. Of all PAMF-BF depositors, over 99 percent are individual savers and they have average savings of less than US$ 100.