THE TANZANIA ASSOCIATION OF MICROFINANCE INSTITUTIONS
Tanzania Association of Micro finance Institutions (TAMFI) is a not-for-profit umbrella organization for micro finance institutions in Tanzania. It was formally registered in 2001 as a sole network for micro finance activities in the country. Members include Commercial, Community and Microfinance Banks, NGOs, Private MFIs, SACCOS, apex of informal groups, micro -insurance company and Business Service Providers. The association seeks to develop capability of micro finance institutions and the micro finance sector in general through advocacy, lobbying, research and development, responsible micro finance, capacity building, and information gathering and dissemination. The National Micro finance Policy also assigns the task of developing and ensuring application of standards to the network.
Furthermore, the Association promotes and encourages the establishment of new products and related markets and organizes forums and meetings in order to promote communication among members, to strengthen their relationship and to transfer information and experience among them. TAMFI encourages networking which is an integral part of any association. In this regard the Annual General Meetings attracts a growing number of attendees each year and make it an event where discussions are held on important and emerging issues and time is taken to learn more.
The current 99 member institutions of TAMFI reach out to approximately 1.2 million micro entrepreneurs in urban and rural areas. These are micro entrepreneurs who are committed to change their financial behaviours. Microfinance institutions are providing a broad range of financial services to these poor and low income people who are systematically excluded from formal financial system. Financial services include credit, savings, leasing, insurance, mobile/wire transfers, housing and pensions. And as a result these active poor communities are included in the mainstream financial system. Furthermore, they are financially educated and exposed.
TAMFI’s power is derived from its constitution, which is registered by the Registrar of Societies as a Non Profit and Non-Governmental Organization.
TAMFI is a member based organization. The mandate is established and reviewed by Members of the association at Annual General Meetings (AGMs). The Association members are categorized under article 4 of its constitution, as ordinary members comprised of MFIs legally registered in Tanzania and the second category is that of associated members.
(a) General (Ordinary) Members
The following are the ordinary members:
- MFIs legally registered in Tanzania
- Directly involved in the provision of savings and credit instruments to micro and small enterprises for business purposes
- Have in its objectives, the provision of savings and credit to small businesses
(b) Associate Members
Organizations or institutions which, though not directly involved in the provision of micro-finance, are involved in micro-finance as donors, direct providers of products/services to MFIs, which directly facilitate micro-finance activities such as Loan Guarantee funds and direct providers of technical assistance to MFIs.
(3) Goals and Objectives
The prime objective of the TAMFI according to Article 2 of the Constitution of the association is: “To facilitate (develop) the capability of Micro-finance Institutions (MFIs) and the micro-finance sector in Tanzania through lobbying, advocacy, training and information gathering and dissemination”
The objectives of TAMFI are:
- To enhance, strengthen, and to act as a forum to address mutual interests and to develop micro-finance institutions in Tanzania.
- To act as a networking, lobbying and advocacy body for the sector.
- To act as a unifying organ between its members.
- TAMFI shall advocate the Government of Tanzania (GOT) to create and maintain an appropriate regulatory framework for Micro-finance Institutions in Tanzania.
- To facilitate (carry out) research relevant for MFI development and provide viable suggestions.
(4) Strategic direction
Based on the goals, objectives and functions of the association, the strategic direction of TAMFI has been formulated and presented in the form of vision and mission statements and core values. These form a framework upon which the business of the association is built.
TAMFI’s vision is to “become a vibrant network that effectively supports the MF industry in Tanzania.”
TAMFI’s mission is to “facilitate creation of an enabling environment for development of a sustainable microfinance industry in Tanzania through participation of all stakeholders.”
TAMFI’s core values should guide code of conduct of its staff and its members as follows:
- Accountability and transparency
- Equity, fairness, and equality in the treatment of members
- Adherence to microfinance best practices
- Non-discriminatory services
- Good governance
- Political independence
- Supporting environment-friendly enterprises
(5) Where is TAMFI now and what are its aims?
Membership is purposely open to a wide variety of market participants to assure broad perspectives in the participation and as a result banks, microfinance institutions, informal groups, SACCOS, Insurance and Service Providers and as well as other participants in the industry have joined and support TAMFI. Clearly TAMFI wants to expand its membership by growing nationally across the country and establish itself further as a National Microfinance Association.
A clear milestone in the history of TAMFI is the influence the Association has had on advocating for a favorable legal and regulatory framework for microfinance institutions. Existing members of TAMFI played a considerable role in reviewing the National Microfinance Policy of year 2000. TAMFI members believe that a reviewed microfinance policy will take into account new developments, current needs and existing challenges in accelerating provision of diversified, inclusive financial services on a sustainable basis. Nevertheless, TAMFI is fully determined to see a Microfinance Act in place which will enable microfinance institutions to operate competitively and profitably.
The Association has brought forth a code of conduct that is emphasizing on fair and responsible practices to borrowers, disclosure, lending practices, collection practices, institutional transparency and human resource ethics. In adhering to the code of conduct clients are protected against malpractices.
(6) Board of Directors
As portrayed below, the Association has high profile, highly respectable and highly experienced and committed Board of Directors drawn from the microfinance industry. These include:-
(i) Mr. Joel Mwakitalu (Chairman)
Mr Mwakitalu has 26 years of work experience as a practitioner, leader and consultant in microfinance industry. He is currently Managing Director of Global Associates Limited a financial services & agribusiness consulting company. Mwakitalu is the regional coordinator for East African Microfinance Network. He is a Certified Director by Tanzania Institute of Directors and MA holder in business management.
(ii) Mr. Altemius Millinga (Vice Chairman)
Mr Millinga is currently the Executive Director for the Yetu Microfinance PLC. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Mbinga Community Bank. Millinga is the author of Demand for Micro Insurance in Tanzania and Co-author of Money transfer in Kenya and Uganda and an associate investment Advisor for National Investment Company (NICO). Mr. Millinga has over 20 years experience in the Microfinance Industry. He holds a Master of Science Degree in Policy Economics and Bachelor of Arts (Economics).
(iii) Mr James Washima. Managing Director, UTT Microfinance. (Board Member)
Mr. James B. Washima is a multidiscipline professional – a trained financial specialist, a Certified Investment Advisor /dealers’ representative, an Associate Certified Public Accountant ACPA (T), and a certified member of the Institute of Directors in Tanzania.
Prior to joining UTT Microfinance Plc in July, 2013 as its founder CEO; He worked for Unit Trust of Tanzania (UTT) from 2006 to June, 2013. During this time, he served in various capacities in the Trust; including Director of Investment Management, Director of Finance & Administration and Chief Operating Officer – UTT Microfinance Division.
He holds a degree in Commerce B.Com (Hons) from Dr. B.R. Ambedkar University (formally Agra University) India, and a postgraduate degree in Business Administration specializing in Finance (MBA Finance) from the University of Dar es Salaam (2005).
(iv) Mr Lawrence Muze, (Board Member)
Mr Lawrence Muze is the current Chairperson of Mtoni Lutheran Church Dar es Salaam and General Manager of Kwanza Collection Company. He has been in the arts and crafts business for the past 36 years working at different capacities; from Accounts Assistant to Finance Officer. Muze has also been a Vice Chairperson and Chairperson of WFTO Africa and Middle East between years 2011 and 2014. Since year 2006, Muze is the Treasurer of Tanzania Network for Fair Trade (TANFAT) and as well as Treasurer of African Evangelist Enterprises since 1996. He has travelled widely to Europe, USA, parts of Arica and within Tanzania to participate in Trade Fairs. He holds a Diploma on Business management and has attended Business Development trainings in Kenya and Swaziland.
(vi) Mr Abdul-rahman Salehe, (Board Member)
Mr Abdul-rahman has vast experience in store keeping, supply management, and procurement. He has worked with Zanzibar Investment Promotion Authority for 23 years. He has conducted a number of audits in procurement entities in several districts of Tanzania including Simanjiro, Karatu, Mugumu, Longido and College of Wildlife Management in Mweka. Abdul-rahman holds posts of Secretary General in Sports Association for football and basketball in Zanzibar. He is also a Secretary General of Jumuiya ya Changamoto, a trust fund. He holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration issued by Peoples’ Republic of China.
(vi) Ms Bibiana Ngowi, (Board Member)
Ms Bibiana Ngowi is a Microfinance specialist with over 14 years experience in microfinance industry enjoying serving small and medium entrepreneurs over the Tanzania Region. Currently she is working for Mkombozi Commercial Bank as Head of Microfinance at one of the branches.
Prior to working with Mkombozi Commercial Bank Bibiana has worked for FINCA Tanzania a Financial institution for 6 years. She has worked as a Supervisor in Group lending modality and managed branch credit team. Bibiana is serving small and medium enterprises specifically in poverty alleviation scheme and has a deep understanding in microfinance sector including challenges facing the industry. She has a Masters degree in Business Administration from University of Dar es Salaam and a Bachelor’s degree in Home Economics and Human Nutrition from Sokoine University of Agriculture.
(vii) AKM Sazzad Hosain, (Board Member)
Mr Sazzad Hossain is presently working with BRAC Finance Ltd as a Programme Manager. Sazzad has been in the microfinance field for more than six years starting as a Young Professional in the unit of Research and Development-Microfinance, at BRAC. Before that he worked with Data Companies as a business developer and in sales and marketing. He has attended diverse microfinance trainings and conferences in different parts of the world. He has published “Can Small credit bring hope? A case study of agribusiness programme of BRAC in Bangladesh” The Global Journal of Finance and Economics Vol 10 No 2 (2013): 205-214. Sazzad holds a Master in Public Affairs ( MPA) and Master of Business Admin (MBA), Finance from University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science from North South University.
Currently the Association has three staff members;
- Ms Winnie Terry, (Executive Secretary)
Ms Winnie Terry main functions are to run and oversee day to day activities of the association. She has almost 12 years experience of Microfinance matters while working with FINCA Tanzania and Tujijenge Tanzania at different capacities. She has attended numerous short courses on microfinance, management and leadership locally and internationally. Winnie holds a Bachelor Degree from University of Dar es Salaam and a Masters Degree in International Development (Economic Policy) from University of Ohio, USA.
- Joshua John (Accounts Assistant)
Joshua John is the Accountant for the Association who is responsible in financial management of association and project activities. He is also accountable in collecting reports from members and compilation including mobilisation of members. Joshua holds a Bachelor of Accountancy from Institute of Finance Management (IFM).
- Mercy Rehani (Administrative Assistant)
Mercy Rehani is responsible for office up keep and record keeping and communication in general.
Currently the Association is solely depending on its Members subscriptions and funding from various institutions including Financial Sector Deepening Trust (FSDT), Marketing, Infrastructure, Value Addition and Rural Finance (MIVARF), and BEST-Dialogue. Other partners include Savings Bank for International Cooperation (SBFIC), SELF Microfinance, CITI Foundation and Oikocredit.
- Benefits of being a member
- A platform for lobbying and advocacy on issues affecting microfinance sector
- Capacity building
- Networking – sharing of the industry’s information/trends, knowledge, market intelligence,
- Exposure; free listing on TAMFI website, media coverage during TAMFI events
- Be seen/trusted/respected microfinance player – all member institutions adhere to code of conduct
- Participation in TAMFIs activities such as Annual Microfinance Forums, CEOs roundtables, and trade fairs
- Be involved in microfinance research in the country and outside
- Data sharing including the MIX Market
- Linked with national and/or international partners
(10) Organization structure
TANZANIA ASSOCIATION OF MICROFINANCE INSTITUTIONS (TAMFI)
How to contact TAMFI