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Boston College

Publication Date

Fall 2009

Program Name

Cameroon: Social Pluralism and Development

Abstract

The concept of a cool head and a warm heart co-existing is a Buddhist principle which attempts to illustrate compassion and pragmatism as mutually compatible, not mutually exclusive. Without intelligent management, compassion is lost in its ineffectiveness, and without compassion, intelligence is purposeless reason. This equilibrium is exactly the vision of microfinance that drives this paper: an important social and moral idea that is nevertheless affected by the world and environment in which it operates. By examining the governance mechanisms affecting microfinance in Cameroon, namely the Ministry of Finance and the management structure of the firms themselves, an idea emerges of constructive actions to take to allow this industry to flourish in an environment that isn’t always conducive to accomplishing the industry goals. With an end objective of identifying proactive steps to be taken by the state and by individual microfinance firms, this paper examines the relationship between microfinance and governance generally, and uses the specific example of the MC2 micro-bank network overseen by the Appropriate Development for Africa Foundation (ADAF, who also embraces the idea of a heart in their logo and motto). Ultimately, by understanding the cool head of governance, the warm heart of microfinance’s social mission will be allowed to takes its proper place.

Disciplines

Economic Policy | Economics | Growth and Development

 

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