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Microfinance is being currently ascribed increasingly more importance in the majority of African countries. However, there are very few professionals and university experts who are trained in this sector. The need for professional skills in the domain of microfinance, in particular in the case of the Democratic Republic of Congo and of Central Africa, was the reason for the joint initiative undertaken by the Protestant University of Congo (Université Protestante au Congo - UPC)

and the Frankfurt Schoolin Germany in order to devise a second-level university programme (degree) in microfinance.

This programme is being piloted by the Centre Congolais-Allemand de Microfinance (CCAM) at the Faculty of Business Administration and Economic Sciences at UPC. The aim is to give candidates in-depth training in microfinance in terms of knowledge, know-how and life skills.

In terms of knowledge:

Graduates in microfinance must be able to master the key theoretical concepts and acquire transferable analytical competences that combine three disciplines: development economics, finance and management.

In terms of know-how:

Thanks to their capacity for synthesis, graduates in microfinance shall be able to make an effective contribution to finding suitable and durable solutions to the problems faced by entrepreneurs and the IMF active in their environment.

Centre of Excellence in the DR Congo

The Congolese-German Centre for Microfinance is one of five Centers of Excellence in Africa sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Services (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienste – DAAD). Its aim is to promote teaching and research to train future leaders in microfinance in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and beyond.

Over the past five years, Frankfurt School collaborated with the Faculty of Economics and Administration at UPC by providing asisstance in the form of expertise, personnel and administrative capacity to:

  • establish a Chair of Microfinance at the Faculty of Business/Economics
  • establish a Research Network Microfinance
  • design, implement and deliver courses in microfinance at the undergraduate level

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To date, the bilateral cooperation between Frankfurt School and UPC, which received financial assistance from the Church Development service (Evangelischer Entwicklungsdienst – EED) from 2002 to 2007, has been very fruitful in promoting research and teaching as well as strengthening UPC’s relations to industry partners

The 2010 founded Congolese-German Centre for Microfinance is building on this relationship to promote teaching and research to train future leaders in microfinance in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and beyond

Vision & Mission

CCAM is pursuing a vision based on four points:

  • To be a centre of excellence for microfinance in Congo (Democratic Republic) and in Africa.
  • To give Congo (Democratic Republic) and, to a certain extent, Central Africa, professionals able to make a significant contribution to enhancing performances and impact on microfinance institutions.
  • To offer microfinance professionals in Congo (Democratic Republic) the possibility to undertake training and/or to retrain in order to better accomplish their mission.

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  • To contribute to training and/or provision of appropriate information to players in the field of microfinance in Congo (Democratic Republic), while taking account of the real needs, challenges and opportunities in this sector.

CCAM has as its mission to contribute to development of microfinance through training managers and leaders capable of contributing genuine expertise to this sector.

Strategy

To accomplish its mission, the Centre aims to:

  • Provide training to field practitioners, professionals and researchers in microfinance based on best practices in this sector and on observance of national and international standards.
  • Create a network of national and international players in microfinance aimed at developing mutually beneficial synergies.
  • Enhance research activities, i.e. to make a significant contribution through research to improvement of knowledge and competences in microfinance in Africa.
Research

UPC has been a pioneer in Congolese higher education since 1959. Over 5300 students (half female) were enrolled for the 2006-07 academic year. Although founded by various Protestant denominations, student population is diverse. Approximately 180 full-time and part-time Congolese faculty (mostly graduates from European and US universities) work at UPC.

About Frankfurt School’s ongoing cooperation with UPC

Frankfurt School has been cooperating with one full-time faculty at UPC, Prof Youssoufou Congo, former chair of ‘microfinance’. Overall, 811 students were enrolled in microfinance courses and UPC hosted 10 conferences on the topic over the course of five years. Publications include: Congo, Y. (2007): “Assessing the efficiency of urban microfinance institutions: an analysis in light of Congolese experience”, UPC; Congo, Y. (2006): “Measuring the impact of microfinance initiatives on female poverty levels in the Democratic Republic of Congo”, UPC. Copies of publications and conference proceedings are available on request.

Team

List of Team Members

Prof. Dr. Patrick Bakengela
Programme Director
Tel.: +243 991 183557
E-Mail

Prof. Dr. Frédéric Kalala
Holder of the Chair in Microfinance
Tel.: +243 992 814 522
E-Mail

Amelie Feuerstein
Project Manager
+49 69 154008 562
E-Mail

Silja Bellinger
Project Coordinator
+49 69 154008 638
E-Mail

Dr. Dorothee Weyler
Project Coordination DAAD

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