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The Albanian Microfinance Association brings together the most consolidated Albanian microfinance institutions (MFIs) representing altogether an outsanding loan portofolio of ALL 13.257.292.608 (appx. USD 120 million) and a number of active clients of 61.818.

With a current GDP per capita of USD 4.146 and 45% of rural population, Albania continues to have a strong demand for micro-finance products. Most of Albanian MFIs follow a socially responsible policy targeting financially excluded individuals and disadvantaged areas.

AMA’s objectives are threefold.

1) It represents when necessary, its members to national or international gatherings, legislative consultations and business events;

2) It supports the technical and institutional consolidation of its members by exchanging best-practices and identifying financial and economic trends etc.

3) It promotes access to finance, responsible and social financing and the microfinance sector as whole.

 

 
   
 
   
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

• Figures that speak alone thousands of supported, entrepreneurs,
farmers and families.

 
   
 

History

 

Albanian MFIs and AMA's members are divided into two major groups. One the one hand, non-bank financial institutions such as NOA, Fondi Besa, or Vision Fund, and on the other hand, the Savings and Credit Associations which are financial cooperatives represented by their respective financial Unions such as FED Invest and Unioni Jehona.

AMA's members have started their activity as early as 1992 at a time when Albania opened itself to a free market economy after having endured one of the most feared communist regimes for 45 years. The following development of microfinance in Albania was mainly due to the World Bank involvement as a key promoter of the financial inclusion of the poor by means of micro-loans. At the time, Albania's economy hardly had any entrepreneurs, farmers and businesses as all economic activity was state-owned. In this context, microfinance was seen as the most effective manner to support a successful transition towards self-employment and private ownership.

Throughout the years, AMA's members have undergone through various institutional changes, upgrades and strategic repositionings. They now represent a diversified set of actors, shareholders and clients, national and international, with a full coverage of the Albanian territory and financial market.

 
   

• A success story built over the years

 


• A large number of international partnerships in developing best practices

 
   
 

Vision

 

An EU candidate country, and a NATO member, Albania represents a very dynamic economy with numerous resources and comparative advantages in the fields of energy, tourism, agriculture and manufacture. With a population of 3.2 million, it has made rapid progress in establishing a democracy and market-based economy and has been internationally recognized as a development success story. Over the past decade, the country has enjoyed a high average annual real growth rate of 5%, accompanied by rapid reductions in poverty. Auto-entrepreneurs and SMEs represent a vey vibrant part of its national economy with 95% of the companies employing less than 10 employees.

The Albanian Microfinance Association (AMA) operates in this specific economic context with the ultimate objective to serve the future economic development of the country, and in particular to boost job creation and the financial inclusion of self-employed individuals, farmers, small entrepreneurs and SMEs through the strengthening of the micro-finance sector and the MFIs operating in it. AMA's action is part of a collective and joint effort among its member MFIs, to increase the institutional visibility on the impact micro-finance has on the national economy. AMA has similarly a key role into improving the legal and supervisory framework regulating the micro-finance activity in Albania by promoting best practices, sharing knowledge and spreading new instruments among its members and the general public.

 
   


• Banks and financial institutions: what really differs between the two ?

 
 
 

Socio Economic Ratioe

 

Although a middle-income country with an estimated GDP per capita of USD 3 836, Albania still has pockets of deep poverty, mainly in rural mountainous areas where the main livelihood resource is land. Poverty levels have been reduced by half, from 25.4% in 2002 to 18.5% in 2005 to about 12.4% in 2008 and the extremely poor population fell from 5% in 2002 to 1.2% in 2008. Having said this, due to the recent economic crises, poverty levels have increased up to 14.3% in 2012. Although reduced, rural poverty levels remain above the national average because growth in the rural economy has been slow (from 40% to 15%). Poverty in mountain areas, at 29% is double the national average, and the progress made in poverty reduction comes mainly from internal and external migration,since almost one third of households receive remittances. Taking into account finally that unemployement is relatively high with 18% for the general population and 33% for youth, one can create a clearer understanding of the reasions behind Albanian microfinance socio-economic ratioe in the country. AMA's member serve the unbanked individuals, the financially excluded families, those that are willing to start a family owned or personal business but whose revenues are not sufficient to access the financial services of a traditional bank. Based on a very extensive proxy service, on adapted tailor-made financial products, on transparent and socially acceptable selection procedures, AMA's members have sucessfully achieved to deliver up to 350.000 loans until today.

 
   


• Micro-finance target: “common individuals”

• An exceptional and tangible impact in serving social and economic development