The African Microfinance Week (referred to as the SAM, based on the French acronym) is a conference organised by the African networks – AMT (African Microfinance Transparency), AFMIN (The African Microfinance Network), AFRACA (African Rural and Agricultural Credit Association) and MAIN (Microfinance African Institutions Network), with the support of ADA and the Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
SAM's main ambition is to become the annual major African event; bringing all professionals together to one event saves time and financial resources.
A publication compiles the research papers selected and presented during the Research meets Africa workshop that took place in the framework of the African Microfinance Week in Dakar.
The workshop leveraged research on innovations, gathering expertise from different sectors, including those which are currently outside the microfinance world, on the topic "Accelerating Research on Innovations for Rural Financial Inclusion in Africa".
547 participants attended the SAM 2015! Number of attendees skyrocketed till 620 including official foreign office delegation, politics and VIPs during the opening ceremony. On this day, SAM was definitely the place where to be! Even north Korea diplomatic reprensatives (and perfect fluent French speakers) joined the event. SAM’s notoriety spread over African borders.
In 2015, the theme of SAM was dedicated to Accelerating Innovative Rural Finance in Africa.
Financing agriculture and other rural economic activities in Africa is fundamental to significantly improving living conditions. More than a quarter of the population in the Sub-Saharan African region does not have access to adequate nutrition. 70 % of the population lives dispersed, in untapped rural areas. Taking into account the fact that the population is set to double by 2050 and triple by 2100, Africa needs to find innovative financial solutions which have the potential of boosting food production and agricultural development, while transforming rural space in a positive manner.
The second edition of the SAM focused on solutions that aim to accelerate innovative financing in rural Africa as well as the challenges of rural exodus, food production and distribution, climate change and environmental protection.
The event’s second edition, the AMT’s 7th Investors’ Fair, was set to become even bigger as, traditionally reserved to rated MFI’s, it was opened to all African MFIs (Tiers 1, 2 and 3). Check the official pictures of the event online!
Added to this, for the first time, the African Microfinance Week has hosted an Innovation Fair, which welcomed new technologies and MIS-solutions providers. The products presented are specifically designed to accelerate the development of the inclusive finance sector in rural Africa. One can download the presentations made at this Innovation Fair.
The event brings together microfinance players from the entire industry – investors, MFIs, researchers, banks, networks, governments, others – making this into a unified African platform for exchange and reflection on the industry. The African Microfinance Week is a forum that actively promotes and accelerates financial inclusion and economic growth throughout the continent.
The four regional networks – AMT, AFMIN, AFRACA and MAIN – organising this conference, and themselves representing 140 MFIs and 23 Microfinance organisations and networks from all over Africa, not only ensured regional representation but also a continental coverage. The other participants consisted of investors, providers of technical assistance who were also attending AMT's Investor Fair and Innovation Fair, rating agencies as well as other actors from the African inclusive finance sector.
The first African Microfinance Week gathered over 250 participants in Arusha between 2nd and 6th December 2013. Five days of lectures, discussions, meetings and training brought together microfinance practitioners of all levels from 44 countries - including 36 African countries – for all to discuss the topic of regulation in microfinance.