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International development

A better future for beninese men and women

April 11, 2023

Improving the economic situation of marginalized populations in Benin, providing them with better access to financial products and services, financial education and the possibility to better control their finances: an objective achieved at the end of the ADAPAMI project. Financed by Global Affairs Canada, this project concludes with results surpassing most of the targets identified.

Greater financial inclusion

  • 855,848 new users of community financial services (52% women)
  • 744,649 new bank accounts opened through the project (64% opened by women)
  • 426,942 new digital finance users (72% women)

Increased financial literacy

  • 94,385 vulnerable people educated on financial literacy (76% women)
  • Among target populations, knowledge of basic financial concepts increased from 7.5% to 76%

More independence for women

  • 436,470 accounts opened by women
  • 253,625 new women using digital services
  • 71,739 women educated on financial literacy

“Using what I learned, I can now save money and provide for myself. I’m confident in my ability to reach my long-term financial goals. I know anything is possible. All you have to do is know how to save and manage your money. My income increased by diversifying my activities.” Joliette Adjidja, merchant

Enhanced capacity for individuals

From 2018 to 2023:

  • In this country of 12 million people, 855,848 additional individuals, including 442,537 women (52%), now have sustainable access to financial services adapted to their needs.
  • The project implements a financial inclusion strategy, leading to the opening of 744,649 new accounts, 436,470 of which were opened by women.
  • A comprehensive financial education program, consisting of six modules, is developed for the project and then disseminated by partner institutions. Across the country, 94,578 people, more than 75% of whom are women, are trained in financial education. At the end of the training, more than 91% of the participants reach or exceed the minimum level of financial literacy.
  • Several innovative digital finance solutions are developed and deployed. The population, especially women for whom proximity is crucial, strongly adheres to these new services. After less than five years, there are 426,942 new digital finance users, including 286,560 women.
  • In terms of gender equality, the project stands out for the strong increase in women’s participation in the governance of partner financial institutions. An innovative approach involving personalized coaching has made it possible to support 99 women, 78 of whom have been elected as leaders of an institution. The percentage of women on elected committees increased from 24% at the beginning of the project to 39% at the end.

More support for entrepreneurs

In five years:

  • An Entrepreneur Financial Center (CFE) is opened in Parakou by FECECAM, one of the project’s partner institutions, to serve the north and center of the country. The CFE is fully operational, and despite the COVID-19 pandemic that slowed down its activities, some 576 loans worth more than 5 M FCFA (CAD11 200) are granted.
  • Also set up as part of the project, the CFE du Nord is at the heart of the agricultural shift taken by FECECAM, increasing the value of its portfolio in agricultural value chain financing to more than 50%. One of the CFE du Nord’s products, the Grouped Input Purchase Credit (GIPC), is increasing its volume of loans, with disbursements rising from 52 M FCFA (CAD116 500) in 2021 to 518 M FCFA (CAD1,16 M) in 2022.

More efficient financial institutions

At the end of the project:

  • The microfinance sector in Benin is healthier. There are no longer organisations carrying out microfinance activities illegally in the country.
  • An innovative distance learning program is co-constructed with the Association Professionnelle des Systèmes Financiers Décentralisés (APSFD) to address the extensive training needs of staff and elected officials within microfinance institutions. The program goes beyond Benin and reaches institutions in other West African countries.