PRESS RELEASE FOR THIRD RURAL MICROFINANCE CONFERENCE 2017.

Majaliwa Kassim Majaliwa roots for access to finance as critical to agricultural and rural transformation
Dar es Salaam, 17th July 2017: Tanzania Association of Microfinance Institutions (TAMFI) in collaboration with Marketing Infrastructure, Value Addition and Rural Finance (MIVARF) successfully held the Third Rural and Microfinance Conference in Tanzania on the 13th and 14th of July 2017 at Julius Nyerere Convention Center, Dar-es-Salaam.
Opening the forum, with the theme-“RURAL FINANCE AND AGRICULTURAL TRANSFORMATION IN TANZANIA” Prime Minister Hon Majaliwa Kassim Majaliwa, represented by Hon Dr  Philip Mpango, the Minister for Finance and Planning,  noted that access to finance was critical to agriculture and rural transformation.
The Premier told over 100 delegates, who included microfinance stakeholders, farmers academicians, community and commercial banks, farmers associations, and policy makers and regulators, , that access  to financial services for small and medium-sized entrepreneurs in the country is low.
The premier, commending TAMFI and MIVARF for organizing the forum, assured that the government want more Tanzanians  to access financial services , which was key to agriculture development and rural transformation.
“Despite substantial increase in the number and type of financial institutions, access to formal financial services in the country is still low.”
The premier acknowledged there were many challenges that made access to Microfinance low and called on the private sector to do its part to change the situation.  On the side of the government, he assured that it was working to improve the business environment so as to improve access to finance for Tanzanians in rural and urban setting.
To entrepreneurs, he was candid that they should inoculate a saving culture and before taking the loan,- they should have business plan for and purposelessly use it for business.   He cautioned entrepreneurs to always obtain knowledge about the business you are undertaking beforehand.
To financial institutions, the premier asked them to improve financial education to the borrowers, and give women priority, ensure follow ups on progress of borrowers.
“On the part of the Government, of importance is to ensure conducive policy, coordination and good management of small-scale financial sector and the financial sector in general for the whole country,” he said.
The government has in place a national Microfinance policy and it is in the process of working to have in place a Microfinance law which would be critical in ensuring more Tanzanians are able to access finance.
Lastly, the guest of honor called for MFIs as well as other enreprenours to pay  taxes. ”No matter what business you do, pay your tax without fail,” he said.
“I would like to promise that this process will be completed in 2017/18 Fiscal year. It is my hope until the end of this financial year that you will have a microfinance law.”
TAMFI chairman Mr Joel Mwakitalu said TAMFI has been advocating for the microfinance law in the last four years and expressed gratitude with the assurance by the government the process would be concluded.
He said TAMFI was sure  that majority of farmers in the rural areas were in dire need of assured financing. He said enhanced provision of microfinance services in rural areas would play a big role in bringing about  agricultural revolution, which is a necessity as Tanzania moves towards an industrial economy.
Mr Augustine Ollal from the Prime Minister’s office thanked MIVRAF for supporting TAMFI.  He said about  80% of Tanzanians live in rural areas and their major economic activity is agriculture. However, the sector is entangled in numerous challenges, some of which could well be addressed through increased access to finance.
“I would like to thank MIVARF programme for their close cooperation with the TAMFI in addressing various challenges in the sector including facilitating this  conference”.
The two day conference resolved that enactment of Microfinance law was critical for the industry, there is a great need for creating one stop centre for farmers to get information, need to seek lasting solution for farmers/pastoralist conflicts, and that it was paramount for microfinance to be enabled to work in an environment that would favour them to finance  agribusiness, among other resolutions. There were three key things said by Mwenyekiti- Financial Education, …..,
About TAMFI
The Tanzania Association of Microfinance Institutions (TAMFI) is the umbrella organization for microfinance organizations operating in Tanzania.The institution support the capacity development of microfinance institutions in Tanzania through lobbying, advocacy, training and the gathering and dissemination of information.
About MIVARF
Market Infrastructure, Value Addition and Rural Finance (MIVARF) is a support programme focused on improving access to financial and market services for the rural, economically active, poor (the beneficiaries) while emphasizing on financial and commercial viability and sustainability.  It is implemented by the Government of Tanzania in collaboration with the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) and the African Development Bank (AfDB)
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Press release issued by TAMFI CEO
Winnie Terry

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