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Sierra Leone News: Microfinance Institutions begin financial inclusion dialogue today

Sierra Leone Association of Microfinance Institutions (SLAMFI) will today Tuesday 7th May, 2019 begin a two-day Microfinance Conference on the theme: Advancing Financial Inclusion: The Role of Microfinance Institutions at the Golden Tulip, Aberdeen. MFI’s play a key role in the development and professionalization of the microfinance sector, as a result of their capacity to mobilise a large number of MFI’s and to engage in dialogue with the authorities, they represent a powerful instrument, which may be used to develop inclusive finance services. The first SLAMFI Conference is being conducted in partnership with the Network of Microfinance Institutions of Liberia (NEMIL). It is the expectation that eight members from Liberia will make the trip and the Bank Governor Kelfala Kallon will deliver the keynote address at the opening of the meet. SLAMFI National Coordinator Madam Francess Kondoh said that the conference is aimed at bringing all actors in the sector to share their perspective, experiences and showcase what they have been doing towards promoting financial inclusion. Members of SLAMFI she said will have the opportunity to talk about their products and that will be backed by several presentations and panel discussions on a number of topics geared towards the theme. A panel discussion featuring mobile company operators and commercial banks will discuss issues around mobile banking, donor institutions will also talk about raising capital towards financial inclusion, a panel made of Apex Bank, SLAMFI, NEMIL and the MFI focal person at the Bank of Sierra Leone will converse on the acceleration of financial inclusion in Sierra Leone and presentations will be made by Credit unions and Rokel commercial Bank Managing Director on the synergy between banks and MFI’s. SLAMFI currently has a membership of 12 Microfinance Institutions made up of Banks; Credit only Microfinance Institutions and specialised microfinance NGOs. A new board of 5-member directors including the Chairman and President was recently voted in. The Association has a secretariat, which is managed by the National Coordinator. The MFI members are: A Call to Business Savings & Loans Ltd.; BRAC Microfinance Sierra Leone; Ecobank Microfinance;  Finance Salone Ltd, GGEM Microfinance Services; LAPO Microfinance (Savings & Loans); Salone Microfinance Trust (SMT), CEDA; Empire Solution, Grassroot Microfinance, Capitol Finance, and Association for Rural Development (ARD).

By Zainab Iyamide Joaque

Tuesday May 7, 2019.

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