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African Microfinance Week

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African Microfinance Week (SAM)
GenreMicrofinance Conference

Introduction[edit | edit source]

The African Microfinance Week, derived from the French name Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance (SAM), is a week-long conference, organised by the NGO ADA (Appui au Développement Autonome), the Luxembourgish Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, African Microfinance Network (AFMIN), the African Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (AFRACA), and the Microfinance African Institutions Network (MAIN).

The event takes place every two years. It was initially planned to be an annual event, however, in 2014, due to the Burnikabé uprising, the event had to be cancelled until 2015 and as such it became a biennial event.

The primary objective of the SAM is to provide a platform for exchanges and debates on the microfinance sector in Africa by bringing together all the professionals who work in the sector; investors, microfinance institutions (MFIs), researchers, banks, networks, innovators (such as Harvesting who won a prize for innovations in fintech during the 2017 edition)[1][2] and governments.[3]

Evolution of the SAM[edit | edit source]

The SAM enables participants to build new partnerships or strengthen current relationships, extend and develop contact networks, share ideas and practices, and accelerate the financial inclusion on the continent.

The first edition of the SAM took place from the 2nd to the 6th of December 2013 in Arusha, Tanzania. It focused on the evolution of microfinance in Africa over the last 20 years.[4]

In 2015, the SAM took place from the 29th of June to the 3rd of July in Dakar, Senegal. The main topic discussed at this edition was "Innovation to accelerate rural finance in Africa".[5]

The 3rd edition of the SAM took place from the 9th to the 13th of October 2017 in Addis Ababa, at the Sheraton Hotel. The event saw at least 550 participants from over 200 microfinance institutions engaged in the conference[6]. The theme of the conference was "Creating value for SMEs", however everyday a new topic was tackled.[7] The first day of the conference was based around discussions on research in the microfinance sector, while the following days of the SAM were focused on how to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and microfinance institutions but also innovations within the sector of microfinance products (such as fintech).[8]

Notable attendees[edit | edit source]

Romain Schneider during the SAM 2017

Since the first edition, some high profile personalities were present at the conference:

  • Romain Schneider, Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs (Luxembourg)
  • Moustapha Diop, Minister attached to the Minister of Women, Family and Children, with responsibility for Microfinance and Solidarity Economy (Senegal)
  • Eugène Serufuli Ngayabaseka, Minister for Rural Development (Democratic Republic of Congo)

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Special Report: At SAM, a "Moral Obligation" to Include More People in the Financial System, Harvesting Wins $12k FMO Fintech for Microfinance Prize for Use of Satellite Data to Boost Agricultural Lending".
  2. "Harvesting Wins €10k FMO Fintech for Microfinance Prize for Use of Satellite Data to Boost Agricultural Lending" (PDF).
  3. "Fostering Continental Microfinance".
  4. "Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance 2013".
  5. "Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance 2015".
  6. "After the SAM".
  7. "Fostering Continental Microfinance".
  8. "Special Report: Innovations in Fintech, Human Resources Development at SAM".

See Also[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

Official website of ADA

SAM Homepage

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