ABU DHABI, UAE – March 2, 2016: Global policy makers and microfinance experts will convene in Abu Dhabi from March 14th to 17th to explore and discuss innovative financial inclusion strategies that can create clear pathways to economic and social inclusion.
Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, the summit will explore how new and effective financial policies can contribute to the success of the Universal Financial Access 2020 goal, the World Bank 2030 goals, and the U.N. Global Goals.
The event will be held at Jumeirah Etihad Towers and is organised jointly by Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, the Arab Gulf Programme for Development (AGFUND), and the Microcredit Summit Campaign.
The conference programme will commence with keynote speeches by H.R.H. Prince Talal Bin Abdul Aziz, Chairman of AGFUND; H.R.H. Queen Sofia of Spain; H.E. Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy in the UAE; Prof. Muhammad Yunus, Grameen Bank Founder, Nobel prize winner and Chairman of the Yunus Centre in Bangladesh; H.E. Hussain J. Al Nowais, Chairman of Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development; and Larry Reed, Director of the Microcredit Summit Campaign in the USA.
The Summit will recognize more than 35 Campaign Commitments launched throughout 2015 by members of the Campaign. Their commitments describe specific programs they will deliver in the next 12-18 months that improve people’s lives through enhanced opportunity and financial and social inclusion.
H.E. Hussain J. Al Nowais, Chairman of Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, said: “Financial access and social inclusion are fundamental to building strong families, strong communities, and strong economic development. We are proud to be a part of Microcredit Summit as it’s in line with our strategic objectives at Khalifa Fund. This reflects not only the need to include experts from the Middle East and Africa in these important global discussions, but also the leadership role the UAE is playing in international development and cooperation.”
Nowais added that the SME sector plays a key role in transforming the economy and increasing the participation of UAE Nationals in the private sector workforce, stressing that Abu Dhabi is seeking to expand its project base and enhance its competitive spirit, as these are two of the strategic goals set in the 2030 economic vision.
The “Partnerships that Build Bridges to New Frontiers” plenary will showcase excellent examples and the lessons learned from field experiences. The second plenary, titled “National Financial Inclusion Strategies,” will focus on strategies that are creating the appropriate policies and regulatory frameworks that promote financial inclusion. The plenary “Pathways to Social & Financial Inclusion” will explore innovative financial and social inclusion interventions that are leading the way in empowering the most vulnerable segments of society, and the “Scaling Business Models for Social Impact” plenary will discuss the work being done to foster social business on a global scale.
H.E. Dr. Abdulrahman A. Al-Hamidi, Director General and Chairman of the Arab Monetary Fund (AMF), commented: “By speeding the dissemination of good ideas, the Summit is ensuring that organizations involved in improving financial access are applying the very latest and most effective approaches.”
Nasser Bakr al-Kahtani, CEO of AGFUND is optimistic about the summit results and commented: “The summit partners have succeeded in developing a strong agenda that helps improve access to financial tools and systems for the most marginalized segments of society. The precise arrangements and diversity of experiences will enable participants to discuss issues in depth.”
Larry Reed, Director of Microcredit Summit Campaign, said: “The Summit will highlight Campaign Commitments, which are pledges to specific and measurable actions, from member organizations to implement programs that will help expand both financial and social inclusion.”
The Arab Monetary Fund will host a meeting of Central Bank Governors with 17 member country representatives, discussing the process of aligning their regulatory regimes to facilitate microfinance and other financial inclusion tools such as digital transaction platforms, government cash transfers, and other programs serving the socially and financially excluded.
AGFUND will celebrate leading institutions implementing innovative programs to alleviate unemployment among youth with the announcement of the winners of the prestigious 2015 AGFUND Prize awards. The combined award total of US $500,000 will give prominence to cutting-edge thinking and serve to promote the winners’ ideas.