The NPR website has included a story on Opportunity International’s work in bringing microsavings programs to the people of Malawi. The story featured Opportunity Malawi CEO, Aleksandr-Alain Kalanda, and our pioneering work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, including an example of just one of our many successful banking outlets in Malawi. As of June 2010, Opportunity Malawi had a total of 284,622 depositors, with savings accounts valued at more than $32 million.
The story is based on a presentation Aleksandr-Alain Kalanda, CEO of Opportunity Malawi, gave last week at the 2010 Global Savings Forum, hosted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Aleksandr participated in a working session that tackled the “The Challenging Economics of Small-Balance Accounts.” Opportunity’s Malawian clients have access to some of the most exciting technological innovations in microfinance, including a growing mobile phone banking network and biometric technology, as well as new advances in agricultural finance that include access to interest-bearing savings accounts.
“At Opportunity Malawi, we have six times more people saving than borrowing. People see how their neighbors’ lives have been impacted by having a secure savings account at our bank, and so they want one too,” says Kalanda.
Read the story here.
Read more on our blog about the Gates Foundation’s 2010 Global Savings Forum.