Regional microfinance conference to be held in Colombo 6, 7 Mar

Monday, 26 February 2018 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Conference themed on ‘Deepening Financial Inclusion’

Greater access to financial services, commonly known as ‘financial inclusion’, has been increasingly recognised across the globe, as a key enabler for alleviating poverty. The South Asia Micro-Entrepreneurs Network (SAMN), established in 2008 as a pan-regional forum where South Asian pioneers learn from one another to move in a direction to strengthen regional collaboration and interaction, is identified as the leadership on financial inclusion in South Asia. The SAMN is represented by Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

In its 3rd year, the SMAN Biennial Conference is to be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka for the first time, on 6 and 7 of March at Cinnamon Lakeside, to probe the progress and explore the possibilities for accelerating financial inclusion, under the timely theme of ‘Deepening Financial Inclusion in South Asia’.

Following the two successful conferences in Islamabad and Delhi in 2014 and 2016 respectively, the two-day program will bring together leading microfinance practitioners, donors, investors, research organisations and private sector players devoted to promoting inclusive finance, from the South Asian region with a view to exchange knowledge and stimulate debate. This exclusive gathering of financial inclusion stakeholders is envisaged to bring together more than 300 domestic and international speakers and delegates under one roof.

The conference will set the tone for microfinance in South Asia: Genesis, Challenges and the Road Ahead followed by talk about the Role of Regulators in devising policies for the sector, Impact investment and its links with microfinance, innovation in terms of financial inclusion ecosystem and how responsible finance is adding value to financial inclusion. 

The SAMN Conference will be hosted by the Lanka Microfinance Practitioners Association (LMFPA), the apex umbrella organisation of Sri Lankan microfinance institutions. Since its inception, LMFPA has served tirelessly to create a conducive environment for the microfinance sector in Sri Lanka. The role it played for the establishment of the microfinance regulatory framework in Sri Lanka would undoubtedly be the greatest achievement of LMFPA. Throughout the past decade the association has also diversified in other activities such as capacity building, information sharing and strengthening the bond with various industry stakeholders.

Sharing his thoughts on the Conference, LMFPA Honorary President Imran Nafeer commented that distinguished speakers from the world’s leading microfinance organisations and development sector are expected to grace the occasion in different sessions to share their strategies and discuss various challenges they face. He further added that the eminent panel of speakers will include an exclusive session by renowned senior scholar, Dr. Mark Schreiner, who would discuss the Poverty Probability Index (PPI) with special reference to applicability in Sri Lanka and other SAMN countries.  Prof. Muhammad Yunis is also expected to be present at the Conference. 

Nafeer concluded his views by expressing that this is an opportunity not to be missed by the domestic and international stakeholders of the financial landscape, who aspire the attainment of financial inclusion. 

For more information and to register to attend, discuss and debate pertinent issues impacting financial inclusion in South Asia, please call Ms. Lara on 0770715595.