The Point (Banjul)

29 August 2014

Gambia: GAMFINET Holds Microfinance Forum

The Gambia Microfinance Network Wednesday concluded a daylong Microfinance Forum at the Paradise Suites Hotel on the theme: "Improved Policy, Legal and Regulatory Framework is Key to Microfinance Development".

The day took the form of presentations and discussions to share experiences and build consensus on a better Tier Supervision System for the microfinance subsector.

Ndella Faye-Colley, executive director of Gambia Microfinance Network (GAMFINET), said the forum was organised by her office to bring all stakeholders together to review the policy and regulatory framework, as well as share experience on microfinance regulation for the improvement of the regulatory framework in The Gambia.

GAMFINET as the umbrella organisation of microfinance service providers and promoters in The Gambia was mandated to create such kinds of forums to discuss pertinent issues affecting the development of the microfinance sub-sector, she stated.

She noted that the Network's current membership stands at 17 including direct service providers, promoters and technical service providers within the industry.

The members currently serve over 250,000 clients in both urban and rural areas, with a huge potential to grow if given the right policy and regulatory framework, she said.

According to her, the forum, which included presentations from regulators as well as discussions, was a learning process for better understanding of the policy and regulatory framework of the microfinance sub-sector.

It was also hoped that at the end of the day, greater understanding would be acquired on the regulations from within and outside The Gambia with a good insight on Tier Supervision system for Apex institutions Madam Faye-Colley, pointed out.

The forum was expected to mark the beginning of a process of engagement with the policy and regulatory institutions to improve the policy and legal framework guiding microfinance operations in the Gambia, she said.

The GAMFINET executive director expressed sincere appreciation and thanks to the Gambia Growth and Competitiveness Project and the Rural Finance Project for the support given to the Network in making the forum possible.

Baboucarr Jeng, vice chairman of GAMFINET Board of Directors and also the general manager of NACCUG, said the forum seeks to achieve an important element in today's development agenda, which is learning and sharing ideas from each other.

He noted that the meeting was important because they have participants from all sectors such as government and advocacy aspect of all what is needed concerning their project.

He said they build it to ensure a very supportive and dignified environment, an environment that supports goods, ensures safety and security of the funds they mobilize and also an environment that ensures financial inclusion in all aspects.

Mr Jeng described the forum as an opportunity for all of them to develop and identify a way forward for a better regulatory environment in the country, particularly in areas such as microfinance.

He thanked the participants for sharing ideas on the way forward to develop the project.

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