Soukeyna Ndiaye Ba, INAFI International Executive Director was invited as a speaker in a panel discussion on “Which future for Microfinance in Africa” during the Convergences 2015 Forum. The meeting took place in Paris last May 25-26, 2010.
Ndiaye Ba based on her personal experience as former Minister of Decentralized Cooperation and regional planning, was also invited as speaker in other panel on “Decentralized Cooperation, local development, microfinance and private sector”. Aside from Ms Ndiyae Ba, Mr. James OBAMA, Managing Director of PRIDE TANZANIA, an INAFI member organization was also invited as speaker. Their participation in the conference not only increased the visibility of INAFI in the global setting but also affirmed that it is being recognized as key player in microfinance industry.
About 1100 experts from the sectors of social business, finance, civil society and new technologies attended the conference. Various thematic areas were also discussed in a workshop on “Microfinance today, Future of Microfinance and main constraints.”
Convergences 2015 Forum was organized by ACTED (Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development), Agence Française de Développement (AFD), Crédit Coopératif and Le Monde AS, a discussion forum aimed at bringing about new convergences between the private and public sectors and social business. Its objective is to contribute to setting up a sustainable development strategy for effectively reducing extreme poverty worldwide, as set out in the Millennium Development Goals in 2000.
Launched in 2008, Convergences 2015 has become an essential European meeting point for all development actors. Initially focused on microfinance, its scope was enlarged to the field of social business, to include a wide range of solutions for the reduction of extreme poverty.
After the Convergence Forum, Ms Ndiaye Ba also attended a meeting to discuss about Microfinance Transparency, a new United States non-profit organization which aims to publish the interest rates and other basic information about the lending practices of microfinance institutions (MFIs) worldwide. Supported by many throughout the world of microfinance, the founding of this new organization initiated by comes at a time of fierce debate over the role of commercial microfinance. MF Transparency was founded by Charles Waterfield, a professor at Columbia University. The idea was first announced at the Asia-Pacific Regional Microcredit Summit 2008.
Specifically, MF Transparency aims to 1) Adopt international standards on pricing.2) create of a system to be able to compare conditions for loans proposed to competing MFIs, 3) Prevent abusive MFIs from issuing high interest rates and promoting credit delusive offers. According to CGAP, MFTransparency addresses pricing transparency through two joint activities. First, MFTransparency will collect prices on all micro-loan products around the world and report those prices by a common, objective measurement system. Second, MFTransparency will develop and disseminate educational materials to enable microfinance stakeholders at a broad range of levels – analysts, donors and investors, MFI managers, microentrepreneurs themselves – to better understand the concept and function of interest rates and product pricing.
Jean Luc Perron, Managing Director of Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation who facilitated meeting, proposed after this meeting to organize a workshop in Dakar in the coming months in partnership with MF Transparency. INAFI has been asked to facilitate the organization of this meeting which objective is to help a larger number of MFIs to understand better, and participate the global Campaign on MF transparency.
“MFTransparency will give INAFI the opportunity to be more involved in this campaign and to have the opportunity to introduce it to our members and to encourage them to be actively part of the campaign,” Ndiaye Ba said.
Photo of Hon.Soukeyna Ndiaye Ba was taken in Nairobi, April 2010.
Source information on MFTransparency: