By Eliza Lisah
The Tanzania Association of Microfinance Institutions (TAMFI) in collaboration with East Africa Microfinance Network (EAMFINET) is hosting the second East Africa Microfinance Summit.
EAMFINET is an umbrella organization for Microfinance Associations in Rwanda (AMIR), Kenya (AMFI-K), Uganda (AMFIU), Burundi (RIM) and Tanzania (TAMFI).
The summit started on 2nd and ended on 4th November 2016.
Tamfi members and other microfinance stakeholders attended the important conference. The theme of the summit was, “Accelerating Financial Inclusion for Economic Development.”
While officially opening the summit Mrs Amina Khamis Shaban, delivering the speech for Honorable Dr. Philip Mpango, the Minister of Finance and Planning said the importance of financial inclusion, based on the principle of equity and inclusive economic development, has been engaging their attention as policy makers.
“I believe other policy makers in the East Africa region have taken the same position. We need to learn from each other and implement what is suitable in each country. The summit is therefore a platform for reflection and consultation among various players present here today.
The agenda of the summit, he said was very appropriate as currently the government pays special attention on access to finance by low income people as a means to promote inclusive development. Tanzania has already developed the National Financial Inclusion Framework. The framework adopted has taken an approach of financial inclusion as defined by the United Nations Initiative.
“I believe this summit will deliberate on those issues in order to come up with appropriate approaches on how to link the formal/semi-formal and the informal financial institutions to accelerate financial inclusion initiatives and achieving equitable development,” he said.
I take this opportunity to thank East Africa Microfinance Network and TAMFI for inviting me to open this important summit. The Government of the United Republic of Tanzania looks forward to continued relations and partnership in fostering development in the area of financial inclusion.”
EAMFINET regional coordinator 2016 Mr Joel Mwakitalu briefed about the summit saying that in November 2011,Tanzania,Kenya ,Rwanda ,Burundi and Uganda country microfinance associations formed a Regional Microfinance network to foster Regional cooperation in the microfinance sector;the network was named as EAMFINET. The summit is an event which is part of our EAMFINET Regional Cooperation strategy for the microfinance sector in the region. The first summit was held in Nairobi Kenya in 2015.in 2014 the EAMF CEO round table was held in Kigali, Rwanda.
He also thanked the guest of honor for giving the microfinance sector a priority by officiating the summit. ”your decision to be here demonstrate Tanzania Governments’ positive position on Microfinance sub sector. I also thank all those who have made this event possible, these includes sponsors, contributors and the organizing committee, Asanteni sana.”
The summit showcased to the public that Microfinance services Matters in growing household economy, offer an opportunity for MF actors in the EAC region to cement their re;lationship and cooperation and also to challenge their innovations and creativity in addressing barriers that hinders financial inclusion in all fronts.