Swiss Capacitiy-Building Facility (SCBF): North Africa Contribution

Formal financial inclusion is critical for pro-poor economic growth and remains low in North Africa. The intervention aims to increase well-being and livelihood of low-income people and smallholder farmers, through financial inclusion. The SCBF focuses on tailor-made technical assistance to partner financial institutions to up-scale sustainable and client-oriented financial services offered responsibly. The contribution leverages the expertise of the SCBF for financial inclusion in North Africa and seeks synergies with other North Africa projects.

Región/País Tema Período Presupuesto
Países árabes y Europa
Empleo y desarrollo económico
Apoyo a empresas e inclusión económica
Financial policy
10.12.2015 - 31.12.2023
CHF 1'500'000

Exclusion from access to formal financial services forces low-income people to rely on inconvenient and often risky means to manage their money. ‘Access to Finance’ constitutes a key bottleneck for poor and vulnerable populations to improve their livelihood by increasing their income generating activities and/or better managing their household cash-flow.

Low-income people face high risks and need appropriate savings and insurance services. Women often need to spend their income for the welfare of the family. Smallholder farmers need to hedge the increasing weather risks of drought and flooding so as to raise their productivity and food security.

In North Africa 23% of adults (ca. 40 Mio from 170 Mio (2013)) have a formal account, ranging from 39% in Morocco, 32% in Tunisia to 10% in Egypt and in average only 4% use loans as source of borrowing.


Increased well-being and livelihood of low-income people and smallholder farmers, through financial inclusion.

Grupos destinarios

Direct beneficiaries: ca. 9 partner financial institutions with a proven social or financial inclusion mission;

End beneficiaries: 150’000 low-income clients of the 9 partner financial institutions impacting on 750’000 low-income family members.

Efectos a medio plazo

  1. Lasting access for low-income people, notably low-income women and smallholder farmers, to formal client-oriented financial services offered responsibly
  2. Increased responsible outreach by partner financial institutions to low-income people and smallholder farmers on a sustainable basis
  3. Effectiveness of SCBF’s public-private development partnership approach demonstrated


Resultados previstos:  

  1. At least 150’000 low-income people and smallholder farmers use for the first time a particular formal fi-nancial service within three years upon completion of the ‘product up-scaling’ mini projects.
  2. At least 8 out of the 9 partner financial institutions offer client-oriented financial services responsibly to low-income people, smallholder farmers and small businesses.
  3. Services distribution channels are improved or newly developed by the partner financial institutions to meet the financial needs of low-income people, es-pecially women and smallholder farmers.

Resultados de las fases anteriores:  

The review of the first phase rated the relevance, effectiveness and efficiency of the SCBF as high its initial 3 years of operation, with high probability in reaching its outreach goals. Results during phase 1 were satisfactory: 9 product up-scaling’ mini projects (supported by 3 feasibility studies and 2 financial education campaigns) launched during the first phase will over-shoot the 200’000 outreach target.

The End of Ph.01 report for North Africa stresses:

  • SCBF introduced and launched an innovative instrument for micro-insurance and micro-finance for the financial inclusion of the poor in North Africa
  • Project reporting mainly focused on activities and outputs and it was/is difficult to make a results’ statement with regard to the outcomes fixed in the logframe for the North Africa contribution – apart from the observations in the Mid-Term Review
  • Monitoring progress at outcome level as per logframe was difficult.
  • SCBF outcome results on final clients’ outreach funded under Ph. 01 will only be available three years after their respective closure (approx. 2018-2019).
  • Self-contributions were expected of approx. 5-10%. In fact, CHF 500’000 was received as in-kind and cash contributions (22%).

Dirección / Officina Federal responsable COSUDE
Crédito Cooperación al desarrollo
Contrapartes del proyecto Contraparte del contrato
Sector privado
  • Sector privado suizo

Otras contrapartes
  • ca. 9 partner financial institutions in Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco.
  • Potentially all Swiss competence centres for financial sector development, including insurers and reinsurers.
Coordinación con otros proyectos y actores

During the current phase, synergies with other projects will be explicitly sought.

The proposal is also in-line with the SECO-funded WB/IFRC project that promotes the financial inclusion of Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises.

Presupuesto Fase en curso Presupuesto suizo CHF   1'500'000 Presupuesto actual suizo ya emitido CHF   1'049'525 Total del proyecto desde la primera fase Presupuesto suizo CHF  2'250'000 Presupuesto inclusive contrapartes del proyecto CHF  3'750'000
Fases del proyecto Fase 2 10.12.2015 - 31.12.2023   (Fase en curso) Fase 1 01.12.2011 - 30.12.2016   (Completed)