January 07, 2005

What technology is Kabul-based First MicroFinanceBank leveraging to make banking possible for the residents of post-conflict Afghanistan?

First MicroFinanceBank received a banking license in September 2003, the first of its kind to be established under the country's new regulatory structure. FMFB provides credit and savings products, as well as domestic and international payment services. It focuses on micro-enterprises and small businesses and on the creation of productive sources of income and employment.

Rebuilding confidence in the banking system and developing financial institutions and instruments is key to the revival of entrepreneurial activity in Afghanistan. The establishment of a bank would not have been possible without the TEMENOS (Geneva) eMerge banking system. TEMENOS eMerge was developed to serve medium-to-large microfinance institutions with teller operations and up to 15 concurrent customers. With TEMENOS as our strategic technical partner, we hope to bring to this market our experience in financial services, microfinance, institution-building and poverty alleviation. The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), which promotes sustainable economic development, is the sponsor and majority shareholder in FMFB.

Iain Cheyne, Chairman of the Board, First MicroFinanceBank (Kabul, Afghanistan); Director, Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development