Microfinance Open Source
Comfort Kazanka talks about attending a conference in Jaipur, India
Microfinance Open Source, MIFOS, an initiative of the Grameen Foundation, is the financial software produced for the microfinance industry. The software provides key functionality for financial inclusion providers, client management, portfolio management, loan repayment tracking, fee and savings transactions, accounting, internal control, and reporting.
Fantsuam Foundation was the first community-based organization in northern Nigeria to develop and deploy an integrated development model with microfinance as its core service. Sharing our experience of implementing MIFOS, with the assistance of VSO Gayl Kennedy, was awarded the August Star in August 2010; http://www.dadamac.net/blog/20101019/gayls-star.
Microfinance loans and the recovery from communal violence
Despite devastating post-election violence later in 2010 that led to massive loss of life and property, the organization's integrated approach made it a vital partner in the reconciliation and peace rebuilding process: http://www.dadamac.net/blog/20110524/post-election-violence-fantsuam-assessment. The organization has deployed micro-grants and micro-loans as strategies to help its clients to rebuild their lives and facilitate socio-economic recovery.
Invitation to the MIFOS conference in Jaipur.
It was with some excitement that I received an invitation and scholarship to attend the 4 day long 2013 annual gathering of the community summit of the MIFOS global community in Jaipur, India. My name is Kazanka Comfort and I am responsible for the development and deployment of the Fantsuam rural microfinance services. The MIFOS 2013 Summit started on 22nd October and by the time it ended on 27th October, I had more than ample answers to the burning questions that I had come to Jaipur with:
Questions and answers
1. Is it possible to find ways of downloading MIFOS using low bandwidth access?
2. Is there a network of MIFOS competent software techies in Africa? How can I link up with them?
3. How can microfinance be optimally deployed to support peace-building and economic recovery in post-conflict situations?
4. How does Fantsuam Foundation raise more local awareness about MIFOS in northern Nigeria and train other civil society organizations to use it? How do we become a local resource centre for MIFOS in Nigeria?
By way of some answers, Edward Cable the organizer of the summit is introducing me to a Nigerian member of the MIFOS community who is a software expert, so that he can come and assist Fantsuam Foundation with its MIFOS installation and also explore how we can start a chapter of MIFOS in Nigeria.
I also responded very quickly to the hands-on training in the deployment of software so that field officers can generate information using their mobile phones in the field. This will reduce the time field officers spend in the field, improve efficiency and prevent field-level fraud.
I look forward to providing up-dates on these developments.