Financial Inclusion Banks


Vision of Combating Poverty

Fighting poverty can by no means be viewed as a fundamental approach in the strategy of the Arab Gulf Program for Development (AGFUND), headed by His Royal Highness Prince Talal Bin Abdul Aziz. It can actually be considered as a fingerprint in AGFUND’s developmental activities. In its strategy and plans to alleviate poverty, AGFUND adopts the best practice of Microfinance, as this approach is characterized of being the most efficient in targeting the category of the qualified poor.

Financial Inclusion Banks

AGFUND dealt with poverty reduction through its direct access to the targeted group, recognizing their needs and requirements for their integration into the production process through the microfinance banks that achieve financial inclusion for the poor. Such banks represent the idea which Prince Talal offered to the Arab Region in 1997. The idea was crystallized, and partnership and foundation frameworks were established with the businessmen believing in the social Business. So, AGFUND established the first bank in Jordan in 2006. Then financial inclusion banks were successively established in Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, Lebanon, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Palestine ,and Mauritania.

As such, the AGFUND Banks continue to expand not only in the Arab Region. Currently, there is more expansion in Africa through establishing 8 banks in partnership with the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development ,and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) through the West African Economic and Monetary Union and establishing 6 banks in the Central African Economic and Monetary Group. By so doing, the AGFUND’s spread and presence in microfinance industry and establishing specialized banks will be the largest network in this area.

AGFUND’s banks, with their varied innovative products that contribute to solving the social and economic problems, become known in the space of the Sustainable Development Agenda. Each product addresses a number of the Agenda’s goals and issues.

Model for the Microfinance Banks

Microfinance Banks’ Products

  • Nurseries and kindergartens
  • Livestock
  • Solar energy
  • Education
  • Agriculture including(arabic gum)
  • Home improvements
  • Income generating activities
  • Saving
  • Insurance

AGFUND banks are continuously evaluating their performance to achieve the best practices in the industry.


National Microfinance Bank has launched in late 2006 in Jordan. Nowadays, NMB is among the top 4 microfinance institutions in Jordan, even though NMB is relatively a new institution compared to others. In addition, NMB is among the few Microfinance entities in the Arab World that offer insurance to the poor.
www.nmb.com.jo

Al-Amal Microfinance Bank in Yemen. It controls about 35% of the total market share in Yemen and it has accomplished the highest growth rate for the years 2009 and 2010 among the other MFIs operating in Yemen. It also won the “creativity Prize for the year 2010” in the Arab World. The prize is granted by Grameen Jameel and the Microfinance Network of Arab countries (Sanabel). It has been chosen, as well, as the second international institution for supporting the youth in “Make the Cent” conference that was held in Washington, at the end of 2010.Moreover, Al Amal Microfinance Bank has been chosen as the best institution in the world in creating Islamic products. This was during the “Islamic challenge contest” in 2010 where the bank won the first prize among 130 banks and institutions from more than 43 countries.
www.alamalbank.com

Ebdaa Microfinance Bank in Bahrain, it has achieved a great accomplishment in changing the culture of some private sector institutions to direct their funds, that were previously dedicated to social responsibilities, towards Microfinance banks. The bank was able to attract some institutions and create credit portfolios in order to support some projects of limited-income clients such as the portfolio of the telecommunication company “Batelco” which contributed in supporting 15 Bahraini families. Ebdaa Microfinance Bank has provided loans to farmers and fishermen through launching financing portfolios in collaboration with the Labor Fund “Tamkeen”. Using the Islamic approach of financing, the bank launched the portfolio of Princess Sabika Bent Ibrahim Al-Khalifa for supporting women trade activity. It is actually expected that 300 women would benefit from this portfolio especially via the collaboration with the Labor Fund “Tamkeen” and the Supreme Council for Women.
www.ebdaabank.com

The fourth Bank of AGFUND has been launched in Syria in March 2011, Ibdaa Microfinance Bank. However, despite the Syrian political crisis the bank’s activities resumed, using the contingency plan, and hence the bank is working on opening new other branches in Swaida, Damascus, and Tartous.
www.ibdaabanksyria.com

The Bank for Innovation and Partnership in Sierra Leone (BIP-SL) witnessed a powerful start for the introducing Microfinance in the West African region as well as applying AGFUND’s Model. In the initial phase, AGFUND’s bank in Sierra Leone has clearly reflected its adoption for the concept of cooperation between the poor “Supports of the poor to the poor”. This bank has been founded depending on the expertise of AGFUND’s banks, particularly Al-Amal Bank in, which provided logistic support to BIP-SL.

Ibdaa Microfinance Company in Lebanon, it started its activities in July 2012. What is most significant about this company is the team spent 3 months only to launch its activities. Ibdaa Lebanon has been growing so fast to the extent that its capital was raised during the first year of operation. Ibdaa Lebanon targets mainly the productive ladies and micro-businesses owners of youth. It is worth mentioning that Ibdaa Lebanon apply best practices of Microfinance with respect to transparency and the provision of the products and services that best suits the beneficiaries on a non-discriminatory basis.
www.ibdaalebanon.com

Ibdaa Microfinance Company in Lebanon, it started its activities in July 2012. What is most significant about this company is the team spent 3 months only to launch its activities. Ibdaa Lebanon has been growing so fast to the extent that its capital was raised during the first year of operation. Ibdaa Lebanon targets mainly the productive ladies and micro-businesses owners of youth. It is worth mentioning that Ibdaa Lebanon apply best practices of Microfinance with respect to transparency and the provision of the products and services that best suits the beneficiaries on a non-discriminatory basis.
www.ebdaabanksd.net

Ibdaa Microfinance Company in Palestine that was officially registered in September 2013. It is expected that Ibdaa Palestine would add a significant value to the Microfinance industry in Palestine due to the company’s visions and strategies in contributing to the Palestinian economy. Ibdaa Palestine stresses on applying best practices that will integrate the beneficiaries (women in particular) in the productive process and hence pulling their families out of the poverty cycle.
www.alibdaa.ps

Finally, Ibdaa Microfinance Bank in Mauritania was established in 2014 to meet the high demand in the market for Microfinance and contribute to developmental effort in Mauritania.

Banks in the Pipeline

  • Ebdaa Microfinance Bank – Tunisia
  • Ebdaa Microfinance Bank – Egypt
  • Ebdaa Microfinance Bank – Rwanda

AGFUND plans to establish it in partnership with Badia

  • Benin
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Senegal
  • Burkina Faso
  • Mali
  • Togo
  • Cote d’Ivoire
  • Niger
  • Cameroon
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Central Africa
  • Gabon
  • Chad
  • Congo