SAM 2019

Research Meets Africa

The conference will take place on the 9th October 2017 alongside the African Microfinance Week in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Research Meets Africa

The conference Research Meets Africa aims to promote research and innovation in the inclusive finance sector in Africa. It encourages collaboration between researchers and practitioners of the inclusive finance sector by involving universities from Africa and around the world.

This year we invite you to participate in the conference on the following guiding question:

What are the solutions or alternatives to respond to the needs of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in terms of growth in Africa?

In most developing countries and particularly in the least developed countries, MSMEs rarely have access to finance, even though it is crucial for their development. This lack of access is identified as the missing middle.

Researchers can submit papers tackling the following issues:

Access to finance:

  • What are the different financial services required by MSMEs (Fintech, payment services, loans, etc.)?
  • What is the impact of alternative funding mechanisms as options for MSMEs (social innovation, cooperatives, solidarity credit unions, etc.)?
  • How can Fintech innovations contribute to the development of MSMEs in Africa (regulation, consumer protection, risk, etc.)?
  • What are the different mechanisms that can be used to alleviate collateral constraints?

Human capital:

  • What types of knowledge and skills are missing?
  • Should MFIs have a role in delivering business development support services? If so, under which conditions?
  • What are the most effective ways to build and develop managerial capital in MSMEs to enhance their capacity development?

Access to markets:

  • What are the benefits of economic formalisation in terms of increasing access to markets (regulation, taxation regimes, etc.)?
  • When access to international markets opens up, can exporting be beneficial to MSMEs growth?
  • How can African MSMEs integrate value chains?

The conference is only open to participants registered to the African Microfinance Week.

Research Meets Africa program
Monday, October 9, 2017, from 9.00 to 17.00

Download below the detailed program of the Research Meets Africa conference that will be held on Monday, October 9, 2017, from 9.00 to 17.00.

Research Meets Africa Award

At the SAM 2017, Cécile Godfroid's research received the award for the best research paper during the conference Research Meets Africa. This award consists on a grant from ADA of 1000 euros to continue her research and the invitation to present her paper at the European Microfinance Week in November 2017, fully covered by the University of Luxembourg. The title of her research is «Relationship Lending in Microfinance: How does it Impact Client Dropouts?», closely looking at the client-retention as a main criteria for the microfinance institution, in its financial development and social performance. Congratulations to her!

Cécile Godfroid & Linda Szelest

​Previous edition (Dakar, Senegal – 2015)

Terfa W. Abraham is a researcher at the National Institute for Legislative Studies (NILS), Abuja, Nigeria. He holds a holds a Bachelor's and a Master's in Economics from the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Nigeria and a Ph.D in Economic Sciences from the Université Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD) of Dakar, Senegal. His research focuses on Financial Economics, Development Economics and Economics of Climate Change.


Arcadius Yves AKOSSOU

Arcadius Yves Akossou, Associate Professor in Biometrics (Applied Statistics) and Forestry, University of Parakou (Benin)

  • How was your experience of Research Meets Africa in 2015?
    The conference gave me a great experience and great satisfaction. Indeed, the diversity of the invited guests (doctoral students, researchers, European and international experts, particularly African experts and practitioners) coming from different backgrounds made it possible to follow  a variety of very enriching themes during the conference, which revealed the current situation of development on the continent, particularly in the area of rural financial inclusion. The meeting between practitioners and researchers is therefore important for the identification of priorities, problems and research questions.
    I would like to once again thank the organizers of the 2015 conference!
  •  What is the added-value of the conference?
    As researcher working on issues related to development, the conference brought me a great added value to the extent that I could meet and interact well with fellow researchers working on the same theme as me, and with practitioners in the field of finance. In addition, the selection and publication of my presentation in a working paper has given more value and more visibility to the research that I carry out in this field.
  • Would you recommend this conference to other researchers and practitioners?
    I will of course recommend the conference to other colleagues and practicing friends who work in the field. I am considering participating in the one organized this year (2017)!

Co-organiser of the conference

Innovations for Poverty Action

Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is a research and policy nonprofit that discovers and promotes effective solutions to global poverty problems. IPA brings together researchers and decision-makers to design, rigorously evaluate, and refine these solutions and their applications, ensuring that the evidence created is used to improve the lives of the world’s poor. Since our founding in 2002, IPA has worked with over 575 leading academics to conduct over 650 evaluations in 51 countries. This research has informed hundreds of successful programs that now impact millions of individuals worldwide.

Mastercard Foundation (2)

The MasterCard Foundation works with visionary organizations to provide greater access to education, skills training and financial services for people living in poverty, primarily in Africa. As one of the largest private foundations its work is guided by its mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. Based in Toronto, Canada, its independence was established by Mastercard when the Foundation was created in 2006.

For more information and to sign up for the Foundation’s newsletter, please visit
Follow the Foundation at @MastercardFdn on Twitter.

The Inclusive Finance Luxembourg Asbl ( is the Luxembourg national platform that brings together key stakeholders from the public, private and civil society sectors involved in inclusive finance. envisions a society with a universal access to quality and affordable financial services and products.  Capitalizing on the Grand-Duchy’s leading position in both financial and development sectors, mission is to further stimulate financial inclusion as a key for poverty alleviation and empowerment of low-income groups.

For more information, please visit

Making Finance Work for Africa (MFW4A)

Making Finance Work for Africa (MFW4A) is a Partnership that was launched in 2007 in recognition of the fact that advancing financial sector development in Africa requires collaboration between African Governments, development partners, the private sector and other stakeholders. MFW4A provides a platform for joint action, dissemination of ideas and coordination amongst and between donors and African financial sector stakeholders to address the sector’s development priorities. The MFW4A Secretariat was established in 2008 to support the activities of the Partnership and is hosted at the African Development Bank (AfDB) headquarters in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. The Secretariat works to advance the overall goal of the Partnership by (i) Centralizing and disseminating financial sector knowledge ; (ii) Convening partners and facilitating dialogue and exchanges on financial sector thematic and challenges, and (iii) Serving as a broker between supply and demand for financial sector assistance to help improve the coordination and efficiency of donor funding to Africa’s financial sector.

For more information and to subscribe to our newsletter, please visit our website
Follow us on Twitter @mfw4a



volver arriba

By continuing to browse this site, you agree to the use of cookies to measure the audience of our sites and provide you with targeted content. OK More