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Frontier Finance Innovation

Ayani is committed to breaking through barriers to reaching underserved people with the financial tools they need to improve their livelihoods and resilience. As the landscape of economic development evolves, Ayani looks for viable and creative ways to address the gaps.

Since its inception, Ayani has served financial markets and MSME sectors in post-conflict and fragile state contexts. Through its work in Liberia, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sudan and Zimbabwe, as well as Haiti and Kosovo, Ayani has developed expertise in and recognition for helping to rebuild SME business and financial sectors in fragile states.

In addition to its continued work in fragile states, Ayani is also actively focusing on renewable energy finance, among other emerging innovations.


Payments program for ebola response workers in Sierra Leone

The UNDP Payments Program for Ebola Response Workers, in partnership with UNCDF,was designed to provide technical assistance and operational support to the Governmentsin the three Ebola-affected countries (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone) to ensure timely delivery of hazard payments to Ebola Response Workers (ERWs). Ayani was the implementing entity on the ground in Sierra Leone.

Ayani spearheaded the development of a range of products and distribution channels including cash, check, bank transfer and mobile money. Stakeholder collaboration included working closely with the Database Manager, iDT Labs to update the payroll information system (nercpay.sl) after the biometric re-verification of ERWs.

Ayani conferred with Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) for execution of payments to ERW and monitored performance (e.g. agent liquidity). In total Ayani managed the delivery of a total of 51,600 payments to Ebola Response Workers (ERW) through 5 pay cycles; and directed broadcasts of SMS notifications and financial education messages.

Savings product development for a transformed microfinance institution in Zambia

REGMIFA supported a leading financial service provider to MSMEs with funding and technical assistance. The MFI had already transformed into a deposit-taking institution but funding mobilized through savings had not picked up.

Ayani provided technical assistance in savings product refinement and new savings product development. The work included updating an earlier savings product market study (including quantitative and qualitative market research on clients and non-clients), product prototype development, a training needs assessment and developing a roadmap, which resulted in a significant increase of the deposits mobilized by the institution.

Social housing fund feasibility study in Africa

Ayani conducted an in-depth feasibility study including a best practice brief, design, structuring and set-up of the Fund, product offering and eligibility, governance capital planning, and business plan for a Social Housing Fund. The purpose of the fund was to mobilize funds for the overarching purpose of alleviating urban poverty with specific focus on:

  • Providing grants and concessionary financing for housing projected targeted at low income groups in member countries - including slum and informal settlement dwellers;
  • Support for innovation research aimed at development of new construction methods and process with potential to reduce the cost of construction;
  • Capacity building including support for training and development of developer capacity and housing finance skills in Mortgage Institutions in member countries;
  • General charitable projects including support for schools in very poor areas of member countries, scholarships, relief for persons displaced from their homes due to natural disasters.

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