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Why Has Microcredit Had Such a Limited Impact on the Reduction of Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa?

Finance Reconsidered: New Perspectives for a Responsible and Sustainable Finance

ISBN: 978-1-78560-980-0, eISBN: 978-1-78560-979-4

ISSN: 2043-9059

Publication date: 2 September 2016

Abstract

Purpose

The chapter looks for the conditions of a contribution of microcredit to poverty alleviation.

Methodology/approach

It uses socioeconomical hypotheses for defining a direct and fast positive effect of microcredit on the income of the poorest. The contribution raises ten issues or conditions at a micro, meso and macro level.

Findings

It is not often that these ten conditions are all completely met. So, the impact of microcredit is generally low as regards the alleviation of poverty. The problems to achieve them are linked to the specificities of the clients and of the prevailing institutions in various sub-Saharan Africa countries.

Originality/value

The chapter clearly identifies the limits of microcredit and their reasons.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Acknowledgement

I would especially like to thank the following people for their suggestions, not all of which I have been able to include here: Edoé Agbodjan (University of Ottawa), Eveline Baumann (IRD Paris), Nathanael Ojong, Yves Somé and Théophile Sossa (former PhD students at IHEID Geneva), the researchers on the Microfinance in Crisis research project backed by the European Investment Bank [http://www.microfinance-in-crisis.org/], the organisers of and participants in the session Managing other people’s money: financial services in sub-Saharan Africa after structural adjustment at the 5th European Conference on African Studies in Lisbon on 27 June 2013, and two anonymous readers.

Citation

Servet, J.-M. (2016), "Why Has Microcredit Had Such a Limited Impact on the Reduction of Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa?", Finance Reconsidered: New Perspectives for a Responsible and Sustainable Finance (Critical Studies on Corporate Responsibility, Governance and Sustainability, Vol. 10), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 199-227. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2043-905920160000010028

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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