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First Master's Course for Micro-Finance in Sub-Saharan Africa

04.01.2010 - (idw) Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst e.V.

DAAD sets up a New Degree Course for Micro-Finance Experts in the Congo

Bonn, 4 January 2010. On 15 January, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) will open the centre of excellence for micro-finance in Kinshasa. This is where African students will learn the set of tools required for granting and handling the administration of micro-loans. Micro-loans have already proved successful in leading the way out of poverty in many countries. Generally speaking it is easy to open an account in Germany. Things are very different in the Congo: there are only a few banks and only the rich have access to them. And only very rich people can get a loan at all. To change things, the micro-loan model which has proved successful throughout the world will now also be introduced to the Congo. The needy can become entrepreneurs by taking up small loans and micro-loans. People like Antoine K., who began by buying material with only a few Congolese francs and then became a seller on the densely populated market in the capital Kinshasa. After paying off this loan, she was granted a bigger one. Things continued like this for several years. Nowadays this lady from the Congo wears gold jewellery and regularly flies over to Dubai to buy her materials.

Unfortunately Africa has hardly any micro-finance experts, so micro-loans have previously been in short supply. The "Centre of Excellence for Micro-Finance" in Kinshasa will help to alleviate this shortage. It is a cooperation between the Université Protestante au Congo and the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management. The centre of excellence offers young Africans with initial professional experience the possibility of applying for a Master's course in Micro-Finance. Only the best applicants with first-class certificates and testimonials will be admitted.

Ambassador Matthias Mülmenstädt, delegate for African policy, who will represent Germany's Federal Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt) at the opening ceremony, commented on the new degree course: "... Micro-finance is the backbone for small companies and micro-enterprises and is the motor for growth in developing and transition countries ...".

Together with 70 other university cooperations, the partners from Frankfurt and Kinshasa had responded to the DAAD's call for applications. Apart from the centre of excellence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, four other centres were inaugurated in Ghana, Tanzania, Namibia, and South Africa. The degree courses range from the fields of Development to Law and from Logistics all the way to Public Health Care. The program is funded by Germany's Federal Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt).

Dr. Dorothee Weyler, DAAD, Project Manager for African Centres of Excellence
Tel: +49 228 / 882-115, E-Mail:

Barbara Mück, DAAD, Head of Section 'Special Projects for Africa'
Tel: +49 228 / 882-746, E-Mail:

Head of Press Work and Public Relations
Francis Hugenroth
Tel: +49 228 / 882-454
Fax: +49 228 / 882-659
Kennedyallee 50
D - 53175 Bonn

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