Agora Microfinance Zambia has announced long-term funding facilities with the support of the Bank of Zambia and FMO.

In 2021 and 2022, AMZ received long-term funding facilities from both Bank of Zambia as well as from FMO, the Dutch Development Agency.

During 2021, it emerged that AMZ was Zambia’s largest rural finance institution with 24 branch locations and serving over 125,000 clients. The funds contributed from both the Bank of Zambia and FMO constitute the biggest part of debt funds being used by AMZ in its operations throughout Zambia.

The Bank of Zambia facility was launched during the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic, to support priority sectors that were anticipated to have significant adverse impacts from the consequences of the pandemic. This was released to the financial institutions for onward lending and as a way to support the sustainability of the institutions during the period in which they provided moratorium and loan restructuring funding to the benefit of their clients.

In its 30th June 2022 report, the Bank of Zambia chronicled that out of the ZMW 9.99 billion approved, ZMW 2.365 billion was disbursed to 11 non-bank financial institutions from which AMZ accessed ZMW 60m. The facility carries a five-year term and has been made available to AMZ to facilitate the flow of funds to rural Zambia and to fund important sectors such as agriculture.FMO, the Dutch Entrepreneurial Bank, has also provided a similar five-year facility to AMZ. This extends the partnership between the two institutions that have been ongoing for the past three years.

The new facility, amongst other things, highlights the social aspects of this partnership and includes commitments around client protection and social performance management.Susan Chibanga, the CEO of AMZ, spoke about the value of the two partnerships and said: “With these partnerships, the value proposition to the client is unimaginable.

The facilities have been made available at an optimal cost that subsequently provides an opportunity for AMZ to take a step-in meeting one of its long-term goals of providing suitable products that address the cost of funding to the client. AMZ has so far supported more than 7,000 small holder farmers with ZMW 23.8m”.