SAM 2017

African Microfinance Week 2017

What is the SAM?

The African Microfinance Week (referred to as the SAM, based on the French acronym) is a major conference dedicated to the development of financial inclusion in Africa that takes place every two years and the last edition took place from the 9th to the 13th October, 2017, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The main ambition of the SAM is to provide a unified African platform for exchange on the microfinance issues facing the African continent by bringing together all the professionals of the sector – investors, MFIs, researchers, banks, networks, innovators, governments and others.

The SAM is a whole week to:

  • meet the major players in inclusive finance in Africa: public and private investors, MFI directors, innovators, and researchers;
  • build new partnerships and strengthen current business relations;
  • extend and develop your network of contacts;
  • share innovative best practices;
  • accelerate financial inclusion on the continent.

Five reasons to participate in the SAM

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Creating value for SMEs: a new frontier for inclusive finance

This year, the conference will be on the following topic: "Creating value for SMEs: a new frontier for inclusive finance".

The theme will focus on the subject of mesofinance and therefore the development of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). The term mesofinance refers to a segment of the provision of financing to enterprises which, generally speaking, is barely or not at all developed by microfinance institutions or banks.

This segment may be defined as being between the upper limit of loans covered by microfinance and the lower limit for bank loans. There is a missing middle between these two limits in which micro, small and medium-sized enterprises struggle to find funding and, therefore, to develop.

Both in the Global North and South, the MSME segment represents one of the main drivers of economic growth and of the development of employment. The aim of this conference is therefore to explore how to support enterprises in a variety of sectors as they make the transition from micro to medium

More than a conference... 

The SAM conference on the topic of supporting SMEs will last 2 days : Tuesday, October 10 and Wednesday, October 11

The 3 other days of the SAM - Monday, October 9 ; Thursday, October 12 ; and Friday, October 13 - will be reserved for other events:

- the Investor's Fair: a networking event for investors and African MFIs, organised as speed-dating sessions that encourage the creation of new partenrships between these actors.

- the Innovation Fair: presentation of innovative tools and services for national, regional and panafrican use that can improve the performance of MFIs as they support SMEs.

- Research Meets Africa: discussion between international and african researchers and professionals about the development of the inclusive finance sector in Africa.

- other related events: twenty free and paying trainings and workshops, a Gala Dinner...

Organisers of the SAM 2017

The SAM is organized by the African networks:

  • AMT (African Microfinance Transparency)
  • MAIN (Microfinance African Institutions Network)
  • AFRACA (Association Africaine du Crédit Rural et Agricole) 
  • AEMFI (Association of Ethiopian Microfinance Institutions)
  • AMFI (Assiociation of Microfinance Institutions - Kenya)

It is also organised by ADA with the support of the Luxembourg Cooperation.

These organisers aim to provide a unified African platform for exchange and dialogue on the microfinance issues of the African continent, while promoting the collaboration of all actors in inclusive finance.

SAM 2015 in figures

Small and Growing Businesses in Ethiopia

On the occasion of SAM 2017, organized in Ethiopia and devoted to the development of SMEs, ADA carried out a study on "SGB" (Small and Growing Business) in Ethiopia (text in English).

You can download this document via the link below:

More information about the African Microfinance Week 2017:

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