Around 700 people from Africa, the Middle East, and beyond will gather from March 15 to 17, 2016, in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E., for a 3-day conference focusing on financial inclusion and microfinance services that reach the most vulnerable and marginalized and help improve their lives.
The Microcredit Summit Campaign, in partnership with the Arab Gulf Programme for Development (AGFUND) will feature successes in Africa and the Middle East, especially the growth of mobile money accounts and experimentations in sub-Saharan Africa.
Recent Global Findex 2014 numbers show that the outreach is still low in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), compared to other regions, necessitating promotion of national strategies to increase financial inclusion in the region.
The Summit will convene Central Bankers, Ministers, and sector leaders from MENA to identify the most effective national financial inclusion strategies that enable an environment of greater outreach and social change.
The AGFUND International Prize Award will also be presented at the 18th Microcredit Summit to "Innovative programs that alleviate unemployment among youth." The Prize, amounting to US$ 500,000, was established by AGFUND with the aim of spurring innovation and creativity in human development.
It consists of four categories specified for projects implemented by UN agencies or international and regional NGOs, national NGOs, government ministries and public agencies, and individuals.