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Fundamentals of Regulating Microfinance Institutions (MEFMI/UNITAR Partnership Course)

Type: Course
Date: 19 Oct - 27 Nov 2015
Duration of event: 6 weeks
Location: web-based
Programme area: Financial Sector Management
Fee: No fee

Event focal point email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Deadline for Application: 05 October 2015

Participation subject to application approval by UNITAR. Notification will be sent once application selection process has been finalized.


The past few years have seen the rapid increase of microfinance business across the region. The microfinance business has in theory been linked to low income families or poor village primary level societies that are agro based. Microfinance institutions (MFIs) play a critical role in poverty alleviation and economic empowerment of marginalized communities in our region. MFIs started as microcredit programs to supply credit to the poor. However, they have quickly evolved into market-orientated providers of demand-driven financial services including savings, micro-insurance, consumption loans, leasing products, and other services.

As they have become a significant component of the financial sector, they are systemically important and can exacerbate the fragility of the financial system particularly where there is lack of effective regulation. It is therefore important for these institutions to be properly regulated.

While the growth of MFIs and NBFIs in general has been phenomenal in the region, the regulation and supervision framework is lagging behind.

Learning Objectives

The E-learning course is intended to raise awareness as well as enhance skills of regulating microfinance. At the end of the course, participants should be able to:

  • Identify with clarity the unique features of microfinance business in the region such as the differences in ownership structure and the different microfinance products like credit, savings, insurance, leasing and investment;
  • Explain the risks associated with microfinance business and how it affects financial sector development in the region, (e.g impact on poverty reduction, financial inclusion; financial sector stability);
  • Analyse the performance of the microfinance subsector accurately and its impact on the rest of the financial system.
  • Evaluate existing regulation and supervisory frameworks for microfinance in their respective countries with the view of noting deficiencies and proposing ways of improvement;
  • Examine the influence of modern technology (e.g. mobile financial services), Anti Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism provisions on microfinance and other rural financing strategies.

Content and Structure

The course consists of the following modules:

  • Module 1: Definition and Unique features of microfinance business in the region
  • Module 2: Risks associated with MFIs,
  • Module 3: Performance analysis of Microfinance
  • Module 4: Regulation and supervisory frameworks for MFIs
  • Module 5: Technology, AML/CFT and rural financing strategies


In order to ensure the best possible outreach, the course will be delivered through e-learning. Through a multiple-instructional setting, the goal is to achieve the learning objectives by means of learning technologies that match personal learning styles and by the inclusion of non-linear learning that aims at the development of just-in-time skills of adult learners. At the same time, in order to allow participants maximum flexibility of scheduling, the learning will be conducted in an asynchronous manner. Using a state-of-the-art training architecture, MEFMI will combine self-learning with assessments and online discussions. The pedagogy - adapted specifically to professionals in full-time work - will help train participants through various experiences: absorb (read); do (activity); interact (socialize); reflect (relate to one’s own reality). This course will be conducted in partnership with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).

Targeted Audience

The target group is junior to middle level staff responsible for regulation of microfinance from Ministries of Finance, Central Banks, and the non-bank financial institutions regulatory authorities. This course is intended for participants from MEFMI member states namely: Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Additional Information

A certificate of completion will be issued by MEFMI to all participants who complete the course-related assignments and assessments successfully.

Recommended hardware and software requirements for taking our e-learning courses:

  • Platform: Windows XP sp3, Vista sp2, Windows 7 sp1, MacOS X.
  • Hardware: 2 GB of RAM and higher for Vista and Windows 7.
  • Software: Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Powerpoint and Adobe Acrobat Reader (downloadable for free at
  • Browser: Internet Explorer 8 or higher; Mozilla Firefox 8 or higher.
  • Internet connection: 128kbps and higher.
  • Note: JavaScript, pop-ups & cookies must be enabled.

For further information about the course, please email:

Mr. Patrick Mutimba
Director, FSM
The Macroeconomic and Financial Management Institute of Eastern and Southern Africa (MEFMI)
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mrs. Sipho Makamba
Programme Manager, FSM
The Macroeconomic and Financial Management Institute of Eastern and Southern Africa (MEFMI)
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Apply For the Course Here




The Financial Sector Management Programme provides capacity building services that cover a wide spectrum of areas to officials in central banks, Ministries of Finance and/or Economic Planning and development. The programme is organized under the following broad topics:

•    Monetary policy implementation;
•    Financial markets development and operations;
•    External reserves management and integrated sovereign asset and liability management;
•    Payment and securities clearing and settlement systems;
•    Financial sector regulation, supervision and surveillance; and
•    Non bank financial institutions regulation.