SAM 2019

Plenary sessions

Tuesday, October 10

First day of the SAM Conference

8.45 - 9.30

Plenary 1: Financial inclusion and job creation in Africa

Both in the North and in the South, the MSME segment represents one of the main drivers of economic growth and of the development of employment. This first plenary session will provide an overview of the socioeconomic development in Africa, will describe regional challenges and trends, and will show experiences and practices.

Main topics of the session:

  • What are the economic prospects of Africa for the next few years, and what role will SMEs play?
  • How can we reduce the obstacles to entrepreneurship and encourage the development of SMEs (policy, programmes, etc.)?
  • Statistics and key trends of the African financial inclusion sector
  • The current situation of financing of MSMEs in Africa – what are the main challenges and opportunities


Moderator: Laura Foschi (ADA)

Speakers: Matthew Gamser (IFC), Kimanthi Mutua (K-Rep Group), Rebecca Rouse (Innovation Poverty Action),

9.30 - 10.30

Plenary 2: Doing business in Africa: voices from the field

Drawing on the experiences of several African entrepreneurs, this session explores the links between economic growth and micro- and medium-enterprises. We will identify the persisting challenges and new opportunities for MSMEs in Africa, ultimately attempting to answer the question: from micro to medium, is there a roadmap for growth in Africa?

Main topics of the session:

  • What are SMEs, and how do they differ from other enterprises on a practical level?
  • What do African entrepreneurs identify as the main challenges of doing business, and how can they be overcome? 
  • How can entrepreneurs identify tap into promising new areas of operation and emerging markets?
  • What kind of business can we support to have a larger impact?


Moderator: Carole Karanja (AMFI Kenya)

Speakers: Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu (Sole Rebel), Richard Muteti (Kenya National Federation of Jua Kali Associations), Katharine Pulvermacher (Microinsurance Network), Wairimu Muthike (ACRE), Willie S. Mzumala (Tapika Food Products)

14.00 - 15.30

Plenary 3: Filling the gap: approaches and solutions to boost SMEs

This session will provide a quantitative and qualitative overview of the financial and non-financial services offered to SMEs. Although mesofinance can play an innovative and important role in funding the “missing middle”, SMEs require more than just finance to ensure the growth and development of the sector.

Main topics of the session:

  • What are the sources of financial and non-financial services for SMEs today?
  • What services do SMEs need that are not yet easily accessible?
  • How can we increase the accessibility of these services?
  • How has and can microfinance institutions adapt to the needs of SMEs?


Moderator: Mohamed Attanda (MAIN)

Speakers: Godwin Ehigiamusoe (LAPO), Eleni Gabre-Madhin (blueMoon), Jarri Jung (Triple Jump), Brian A. Kuwik (ACCION), Ahmed Laasri (Jaida)

Wednesday, October 11

Second day of the SAM Conference

14.00 - 15.30

Plenary 4: Public solutions to promote entrepreneurship in Africa

This session will focus on the role of governments, donors and international financial institutions in promoting incentives for the funding of SMEs as well as for an appropriate business investment. Looking at the issue through the different lens of practitioners in different types of organisations, we will present best practices of regulation, investment incentives and thematic programs to reach specific target groups, among other things.

Main topics of the session:

  • How can public, private and international players facilitate a business-friendly environment on regional, national and Pan-African levels?
  • What specific role can each of these actors play in supporting SMEs?
  • How can we identify and implement effective regional policies and strategies?


Moderator : Millison K. Narh (AFRACA)

Speakers : Ambroise Fayolle (EIB), David Berno (FAO), Maimouna Gueye (African Development Bank), Ibrahima Keïta (Kafo Jiginew), Kennedy Komba (Alliance for Financial Inclusion), Rachael Mushosho (Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe), Olukayode B. Oluwole (Central Bank of Nigeria)



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