SAM 2019

Latest news from the SAM


Address of Her Royal Highness The Grand Duchess of Luxembourg for the opening ceremony of the African Microfinance Week 2017

Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation and ADA join forces in favor of the Microfinance Institutions.

In the framework of the SAM (African Microfinance Week) held in Addis Ababa from 9 to 13 October 2017, Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation and ADA, a Luxembourg NGO that promotes inclusive finance in the world,signed a partnership agreement to better support the microfinance institutions they finance. The objective of this partnership is to reduce their partners’ workload by adopting the same due diligence processes, and usingthe same formats for informing and monitoring the social and financial performance of these institutions.
In addition, the GCA and ADA Foundation are committed to improve the coordination and effectiveness of their technical assistance services for their common partners.

Shuttles schedule from partner hotels to Sheraton

Please download the document summarizing the schedule of the shuttle that will take you from your hotel to the Sheraton conference center.

We also ensure the return.

Please note that this is a departure time.

We do not take responsibility for latecomers who will have to move through their care.


Closing the gender gap in digital finance—Tailored products are not enough 

28th September 2017

The mobile money revolution offers microfinance institutions and banks an opportunity to better serve their clients and reach new customer segments, especially women.  New product innovations may have the potential to bring more women into the formal financial fold, but the expansion of digital financial services remains limited by women’s access to and use of mobile phones and other digital tools. Even when women do have access to mobile phones, they may not know how to use them, particularly for financial transactions. Overcoming gender-based barriers to using digital financial tools is essential to ensuring that everyone is able to benefit from these new product innovations. 

Download the full PDF article

(Very) small and growing businesses in Ethiopia - Preliminary findings

28th September 2017

In terms of growth, micro, small and medium enterprises are considered a crucial tool for Ethiopia to meet its development goals. This article presents the main findings of a recent study to take a closer look at the potential of MSMEs and their needs of financial services in the country.

Download the full PDF article


Already more than 400 people signed up!

August 29, 2017

The African Microfinance Week (SAM) 2017 is now 40 days away and 400 microfinance professionals have already bought their tickets!
Our participants already include a diverse range of professionals from international investors to African MFIs to entrepreneurs and innovators. With 36 countries represented, included 22 African countries, this third edition of the SAM will surely be the best one yet!

Join us!

Newsletter n°5: let's register for the events and trainings!

August 28, 2017

Less than 50 days before the SAM, it is time to register for the trainings sessions and workshops (free and paid), for the Investor's Fair, the Innovation Fair...

Check out our latest newsletter

The SAM team sends out bi-weekly email newsletters that highlight an special part of the SAM as well as all the latest updates.


Agricultural Value Chain Development and Finance Training

August 21, 2017

Connexus is pleased to announce that it will be offering the latest version of its “Agricultural Value Chain Development and Finance Training” during the African Microfinance Week on October 12-13, 2017 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This approach has been used successfully to facilitate access to agricultural finance around the world. Some of the leading providers of agricultural value chain finance have benefited from this training, including Root Capital, Oikocredit International and Diamond Bank, among others.  Here are a few of their testimonies:

“This training helped us to develop a new agricultural finance product for the cocoa value chains” and “we can now apply the methodology to many other agricultural value chains.”-
Root Capital participant in Peru

"Diamond Bank PLC has successfully applied this approach to build its agricultural loan portfolio, which now serves 93 clients with 204 loans (including 82 MSMEs) for an outstanding portfolio of over US$173M as of the end of 2016. As a Trainer of Trainers, I have integrated some of Diamond Bank’s lessons into the latest training materials.”
Lois Sankey, Head, Agrifinance, Diamond Bank PLC, Nigeria



Our Sponsors: EIB’s microfinance activities in Africa, focus on a recent project supporting SMEs in Ethiopia

July 28, 2017

The European Investment Bank, a sponsor of the African Microfinance Week 2017, has a strengthened commitment to investment in Africa. The European Investment Bank has a strong track record of investment in microfinance in Africa. Over the last 15 years, the EIB has promoted job creation and sustainable development across the continent. Through a combination of financing and technical assistance, the EIB has offered EUR 500 million to more than 50 microfinance institutions in Africa.

The EIB opened an office in Addis Ababa just two years ago, and in 2017 it partnered with the Ethiopian government to create a program offering EUR 70 million in financing to private enterprises.

This new project focuses on small and medium-sized companies as well as micro-entrepreneurs. The project will help local small companies receive financing from Ethiopian microfinance institutions, commercial banks and leasing firms.

A highly relevant project, considering the topic of the SAM 2017: 'Creating value for SMEs: a new frontier for inclusive finance'.

EIB at the SAM
In association with African Microfinance Week, the EIB will host a parallel session on Tuesday, Oct. 10, called 'EIB solutions for supporting SMEs: Investing in private equity'. The session will draw on the EIB’s experience in Ethiopia and will include speakers from M-BIRR, Ethiopia’s leading provider of mobile money services; Blue Moon, Ethiopia’s first agribusiness incubator; Enterprise Partners, a major player in agribusiness growth and financial inclusion in Ethiopia; and CEPHEUS, Ethiopia’s first private equity fund.

Buy your ticket to the SAM to attend this unique session.

Want to learn more ?
Would you like to know more about the EIB’s support for microfinance? Would you like to know more about the EIB’s support for microfinance? Check out the EIB’s portal on microfinance activities and on activities in the ACP region, their blog post on microfinance in Africa, or meet EIB staff at the SAM to hear about the bank’s solutions for African micro-entrepreneurs and SMEs.

Newsletter n°4: meet the participants of the SAM!

July 28, 2017

With over 200 registered participants, it is time to learn more about who will be at the SAM. Our latest newsletter introduces just some of the many speakers, African MFIs, investors, innovators and researchers that will be attending the SAM.

Check out our latest newsletter!

The SAM team sends out bi-weekly email newsletters that highlight an special part of the SAM as well as all the latest updates.


Already 200 participants!

July 25, 2017

The African Microfinance Week (SAM) 2017 is still two and a half months away, but 200 microfinance professionals have already bought their tickets!
Our participants already include a diverse range of professionals from international investors to African MFIs to entrepreneurs and innovators. With 43 countries and 118 organisations already represented, the SAM 2017 will surely be the best one yet. We are looking forward to seeing everyone in October!

Buy your ticket now to network and exchange ideas at the SAM!


World of Mesofinance: COFINA and the role of African female entrepreneurs

July 19, 2017

Marèma Bao, deputy director of COFINA, attests to the challenges and opportunities facing African female entrepreneurs. COFINA is a mesofinance institution based in four West African countries (Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Guinea and Senegal) that offers loans to Small and Medium Enterprises.

Ms. Bao spoke at the 40th Midi de la microfinance et de la finance inclusive, organised by ADA, on July 5th in Luxembourg. 

Hear what she has to say about women and mesofinance in Africa!

Mr. Jean-Luc Konan, the CEO of COFINA, will be speaking at the African Microfinance Week on the role of mesofinance in a parallel session organised by ADA entitled "Challenges facing actors financing SMEs".

To buy your ticket to the African Microfinance Week to hear Mr. Konan, see Tickets.

Newsletter n°3: the Investor's Fair

July 14, 2017

Want to learn more about the Investor’s Fair ?

Check out our latest newsletter here!

The Investor's Fair is a unique opportunity for international investors and african microfinance institustions to meet and create new partnerships.

The SAM team sends out bi-weekly email newsletters that highlight an special part of the SAM as well as all the latest updates.


Research Meets Africa: research papers have been selected!

July 10, 2017

Almost six weeks after our international call for papers closed, the final selection of the papers for Research Meets Africa has been made. We would like to thank all the participants for their hard work and dedication, as well as the members of the Scientific Committee for their reviews.

Most of the papers are from African universities with topics that range from entrepreneurship, access to finance for MSMEs, and women and microfinance to regulation, social performance, and digital finance.

Research Meets Africa is co-organised by ADA and Innovations for Poverty Action, and is sponsored by the MasterCard Foundation.

We look forward to meeting all the participants at Addis Ababa in October!


ADA teams up with Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) for Research Meets Africa

July 7, 2017

ADA is pleased to partner with Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) as our co-organizer for the conference Research Meets Africa 2017!

IPA is a non-profit organisation that brings together researchers and decision-makers to design, rigorously evaluate and refine effective solutions to global poverty problems, ensuring that the evidence created is used to improve global programs. Since 2002, IPA has worked with over 575 leading academics to conduct over 650 evaluations in 51 countries.

Their expertise in the field of MSMEs will bring a valuable addition to the conference in terms of discussion and content.

Research Meets Africa will take place on the 9th of October 2017, during the African Microfinance Week in Addis Ababa.


100 days until the SAM 2017!

June 30, 2017

The African Microfinance Week (SAM 2017) begins on October 9th, 2017, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The five-day event will bring together hundreds of microfinance institutions, investors, innovators researchers, networks, governments and other sector professionals, making it one of the most important microfinance events in Africa.

With only 100 days left to go, we have already confirmed the participation of keynote speakers – including CGAP CEO Greta Bull and EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle – and developed thirteen unique parallel sessions. With our partners, we have scheduled almost twenty special side events including trainings and workshops. The appeal of the SAM has already reached around the world; so far, participants from 28 different countries have registered for this unique event! 

Register now for the SAM 2017 and book your stay in Addis Ababa with a special discount for your hotel!

Newsletter n°2: the trainings during the SAM

June 26, 2017

On top of the two days of conference, Research Meets Africa, the Innovation Fair and the Investor's Fair, the SAM offers 8 training sessions and 3 workshops, open exclusively to participants of the SAM!

Check out our latest newsletter to learn more about three of these trainings.

The SAM 2017 team sends out bi-weekly email newsletters that highlight an special part of the SAM as well as all the latest updates.


SAM introduces an M-Birr payment option!

June 22, 2017

In order to facilitate the purchase of SAM tickets by Ethiopian participants, we have created an M-BIRR account, so that payments can be made by phone in local currency.

Hopefully this new payment method will make the SAM more accessible to local Ethiopian microfinance stakeholders!

To learn more about how to pay in Birr, visit our Registration page.

This type of financial problem-solving through digital innovation will be the topic of one of our parallel sessions held by FMO and entitled "Partnerships in the FinTech Era."

Viewpoint on SAM 2015: Mohammed Attanda, Executive Director of MAIN

June 15, 2017

Mohammed Attanda is the executive director of the Microfinance African Institutions Network (MAIN) based in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. MAIN is one of the co-organisers of the SAM 2017, and Mr. Attanda is organising the third Plenary Session intitled "Filling the gap: approaches and solutions to boost SMEs".

He also played an important role in the SAM 2015 that took place in Dakar from 29 June to 3 July 2015. Here what he has to say about the event:

Ambroise Fayolle, Vice-President of the EIB, joins us at the SAM!

June 3, 2017

Ambroise Fayolle is the vice-president of the European Investment Bank, based in Luxembourg. He is currently in charge of the EIB’s operations in France, Germany, Austria and South Africa, and works closely with the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) and Overseas Countries and Territories in West Africa and the Pacific.

He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the EIF (European Investment Fund, a sister organisation to the EIB), and has previously represented France at the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Washington, D.C. His experience also includes leadership positions at the French Treasury Department and the G-8.

Mr Fayolle will be attending the SAM 2017 and will participate in the Opening Ceremony on Tuesday, October 10.

To learn more about Ambroise Fayolle’s extensive experience in economic development, check out his full biography on our website and his page on the EIB’s site.


Newsletter n°1: the events hosted by our partners during the SAM

May 22, 2017

The SAM 2017 presents Research Meets Africa, the Innovation Fair and the Investor's Fair, all of which will take place in the framework of the African Microfinance Week in October 2017.

Our latest newsletter introduces these three unmissable events!

The SAM 2017 team sends out monthly email newsletters that highlight an special part of the SAM as well as all the latest updates.



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