About us

Development Microfinance Association

What Is Microfinance

Microfinance refers to financial services for poor and low-income clients. Although most attention has been on the provision of small loans, microfinance in fact also includes the provision of other basic financial services such as savings, money transfer and insurance for poor people. Improving access to such services allows poor and low-income people to finance income-generating activities, build assets, stabilise consumption and protect against risks. Microfinance can play an important role in improving the lives of poor people.


Our expertise in microfinance

DMA, the Development Microfinance Association, founded in 2010 as AMFISA is a not-for-profit association committed to pro-poor development microfinance.

Standard Membership is for providers of development microcredit. Benefits include:

  • Private, quarterly, knowledge-sharing meetings at the management level, including open discussion and review of best practices, new technologies and common issues
  • Opportunities for joint training, cooperation and capacity building
  • Opportunities for joint advocacy or representation at the national level
  • Increased visibility and awareness of your organisation (and our shared mission in general) through the DMA website and educational/networking efforts
  • Easier access to contacts and other information from DMA members and associate members
  • The right to be elected to DMA's Executive Committee
  • The right to speak and vote at Annual General Meetings


Associate Membership is for interested institutions, academics or practitioners who give support to development microfinance institutions in South Africa. We want you to be involved and help us grow this sector. Please contact us if you are interested. Benefits include:

  • Increased visibility and awareness of your organisation (and our shared mission) through the DMA website and educational/networking efforts
  • Access to the DMA membership contact list
  • Opportunity to propose agenda items for the standard membership meetings; associate members' participation in the standard membership meetings is by special invitation only
  • The right to observe Annual General Meetings and to attend any associated networking events, by invitation

To be eligible for Ordinary Membership an organisation must:

  • Have a formal mission that includes social performance goals and that is in line with DMA's ideals
  • Have microfinance as a core business, delivering services directly to the poor for development purposes
  • Be a registered legal entity in South Africa and a registered financial services provider, including supplemental registration with the National Credit Regulator as a provider of developmental credit (NPO and PBO status is typical but not necessarily required)
  • Be operational for more than 6 months
  • Be committed to DMA's Code of Conduct
  • Ensure annual audit by a registered auditor
  • Complete an application form and be approved as a new member by DMA's Executive Committee or Annual General Meeting
  • Pay DMA membership fees, once approved as a member


Focus Areas

Networking: a permanent, non-political forum for shared learning and dialogue.

Capacity Development: facilitation and coordination of training and other capacity development initiatives.

Knowledge Management: assisting members’ learning about best practices, new technologies, regulatory matters and donor opportunities.

Sectoral Transparency: facilitation of common systems by DMA members for reporting on performance and development impact.

Advocacy: articulation of DMA members’ needs and ideas to other stakeholders.

Representation: a focal point for national and international liaison, as well as for potential partnerships.

Vision & Mission

DMA members envision greater opportunity, employment and dignity for millions of poor South Africans who, with access to finance and other support, can live better lives and have greater chances to break free of poverty.

DMA's mission is to promote effective financial inclusion in South Africa by facilitating the sustainability and growth of pro-poor development microfinance institutions (DMFIs).


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