“Inclusive finance for expanding opportunities to the financially excluded population”
Hawassa City, – October 22, 2014 – The Association of Ethiopian Microfinance Institutions (AEMFI), a national network of Ethiopian Microfinance institutions, held its 8th Biennial conference from Wednesday October 22 – Saturday October 25, 2014 in Lewi Resort, Hawassa. Over 150 people from the inclusive finance arena specifically, executive directors of MFIs, board representatives of MFIs, Micro and small enterprise promotion, Central Banks, universities, international organizations, entrepreneurship promotion organizations, technology companies, financial cooperative experts and development partners from across the country and the continent attended the four-day event. Each year, the conference selects a different theme. This year, AEMFI incorporated a “Inclusive finance for expanding opportunities for the financially excluded population” theme.
This year’s conference featured speakers who engaged attendees with a variety of topics, ranging from savings, youth finance, innovative models in rural finance, entrepreneurship to sharing of other countries experience specifically the Sudanese MFI sector and to the technologies for inclusive finance providers. Comprised of seasoned and emerging inclusive finance professionals, the speakers brought to the table for discussion and experience sharing monumental issues like: saving and credit behavior of clients, technology, commercialization, non-interest bearing banking and etc. Additionally, they discussed innovative ways MFIs can reach their clients using the latest technologies. The diverse topics were beneficial to every level of MFI professional.
AEMFI is one of the strong sustainable associations in the world. The association has been active in sharing its experiences to many networks and practitioners from various countries. It has been providing-value adding capacity building support to MFIs, including financial cooperatives. On top of serving as the voice of the industry, it has been very active in implementing evidence-based advocacy and publishing the performance of MFIs on regular basis. Although AEMFI has been involved in research and training from its inception, it has currently established the Ethiopian Inclusive Finance Training and Research Institute to conduct policy-oriented research and provide short and long-term training in the area of inclusive finance. The new training and research institute of AEMFI, which has completed its own multipurpose building and is finishing the residential building for trainees, has the objective of being a centre of excellence for southern and eastern Africa.