Salone News

UNDP to host National Forum on Microfinance

21 May 2007 at 15:52 | 276 views

The National Microfinance Forum takes place from Tuesday, 22nd to Wednesday 23rd May 2007 at Kimbima Hotel, Freetown. Hosted by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the workshop is being organized in collaboration with KFW, UNCDF, Cord Aid and the Government of Sierra Leone.

The forum meets to evaluate the Microfinance Project ‘Development of Sustainable Pro-Poor Financial Sector in Sierra Leone 2004-2009,’ which was developed by the Government of Sierra Leone and funded by its development partners (UNDP, UNCDF, KFW and Cord) in 2003. The meeting aims to harmonise concerns of stakeholders, and also build a national shared vision for the microfinance sector by discussing critical issues of the project implementation. The outcome of the two-day forum will form the basis for revising and updating the Project Document to align it with the strategies and activities of the national vision for microfinance.

The goal of the project is to contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals by reducing poverty by half by 2015 through the provision of increased access to competitive and sustainable financial services to poor and low-income people for micro and small businesses.

Microfinance has been identified as a major tool for poverty reduction in developing countries especially Sierra Leone whose economy is largely cash-based and with limited opportunities for financial services for the poor. To date, considerable successes have been made by expanding outreach to over 45,000 poor clients in rural and urban areas through Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) and Community Banks. Over 90% of these poor clients are women, engaged in various economic activities in more than nine districts and Freetown.

Source: UNDP Freetown.

Photo: Dr. Kadi Sesay, Sierra Leone’s Trade minister.