, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 28 – Kenya will from Thursday host a three – day international symposium to discuss how the global financial crisis has affected microfinance institutions across continents.
The meeting, which is organised by the MicroFinance Network (MFN) and hosted by Equity Bank, will bring together leading microfinance institutions from over 20 countries, who are members of the Network to share ideas, experiences, and innovative solutions to the challenges faced by the institutions in search of continuous growth and progress.
It is the first time a meeting by the MFN members will be taking place in Kenya. The meeting, whose theme is “keeping Leadership in the Changing Environment”, will be officially opened by Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta.
“This conference comes at a time when microfinance institutions have taken a central role in poverty reduction, aimed at improving the living conditions of the majority rural poor, especially in emerging markets in Africa and Asia,” said Dr James Mwangi, the Equity Bank CEO and Managing Director.
Dr Mwangi,said Microfinance was one of the most popular ways currently being used to fight global inequality and poverty, and members will be looking at models which are most effective in poverty alleviation.
The Microfinance Network is a global association of institutions committed to improving the quality of life of the poor through the provision of credit, savings instruments and other financial services.
The members of the Network believe in the establishment of sustainable and profitable institutions that operate on commercial principles and serve large volumes of clients who are not currently served by traditional financial institutions. .
Network members will also discuss the lessons learnt by microfinance institutions from the crisis, and also share strategies and forecasts for the coming year (2010)
During the conference, an update on the impact of the global financial crisis globally and by region will be discussed.
Equity Bank, which is a member of the Micro Finance Network is hosting the conference at a time when it has just been voted the best Microfinance bank in Africa for the second year running.