Announcement of VisionFund International President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Mithika to lead World Vision’s Microfinance Subsidiary
VisionFund International (VFI), World Vision’s microfinance arm in 31 markets that provides credit, savings and insurance to 1.2m low-income clients, has appointed Mr Michael Mithika as President and CEO. Kenyan, Mr Mithika has been a non-executive director of VisionFund International since 2011 and will remain on the board as the executive director. Mr Mithika will be moving to London from Nairobi to take up the appointment, which follows a global search, starting in October this year.
With a loan portfolio up 18% this year to $509m, VFI’s clients are predominantly female (72% globally), located in hard to reach rural environments (69% of clients) and involved in agriculture-based businesses (45% of clients are small-hold farmers). As part of World Vision’s holistic development programmes, VFI’s work improved the lives of 4.3m children this year.
Mr Mithika will continue to grow VisionFund’s geographic portfolio, helping to reach the most needy and financially excluded recipients. He said, “After more than two decades working with financial service providers in Africa, I am excited to join one of the world’s leading humanitarian and international development organisations. Economic empowerment is a vital key in unlocking potential in the global economy and assisting the most vulnerable families. VisionFund is at the forefront of using innovation, including technology and disaster recovery programmes, to build capacity in the most difficult to reach rural environments. It is a privilege to be part of deepening World Vision and VisionFund’s impact around the world.”
Jean Baptiste Kamate, World Vision International’s Senior Vice President for Global Field Operations, adds, “Our work is much more effective when traditional development assistance dovetails with programmes that make people more resilient by providing long-term employment. As we progress towards our 2030 strategy commitments, we will continue to align our support with VisionFund to create lasting change where it is most needed.”
With more than 20 years of experience, Mr Mithika has provided strategic and specialist financial advisory services and management consulting to private and development-oriented clients based in Africa. Since co-founding J.M. Mantle & Co. Limited, a management consulting and financial services firm, he has worked with investors and donors to unlock capital and institutions committed to deepening and increasing financial inclusion in sub-Saharan Africa.
In 2005 Mr Mithika founded the School of African Microfinance (SAM), growing it into Africa’s leading executive microfinance training programme, supporting over 1,400 executives from more than 40 countries. He holds a Bachelor of Science Business Administration degree in Accounting and Finance from the United States International University-Africa.
Jon Hartley, VisionFund International’s Board Chair said, “As part of World Vision, VisionFund works to provide families with the skills and assets to grow their businesses, create jobs and provide better livelihoods for children. Michael has the breadth of knowledge and perspective from the field to guide the organisation into the future.”
ABOUT VISIONFUND INTERNATIONAL
VisionFund International, World Vision’s microfinance arm, has been improving the lives of children in the developing world for more than a decade. By offering small loans and other financial services to families living in poverty, its clients develop successful businesses, enabling their children to grow up healthy and educated. In 2016, VisionFund International MFIs provided 1.4 million loans, with nearly three-quarters of these going to women, and over half to clients actively involved in farming. Repayment rates were 98%. Also in 2016, 4.3 million children were impacted through its MFI network located across more than 30 countries in Africa, Latin America, Asia, and Eastern Europe. For further information please visit VisionFund.org
ABOUT WORLD VISION INTERNATIONAL
World Vision is a global Christian relief, development and advocacy organisation dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender.