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East and Southern Africa

East and Southern Africa
 
   

Angola
Angola envisages undertaking a number of activities aimed at capacity-building to standardize relevant procedures and convene a national meeting on microcredit.

Kenya
In Kenya, the activities in support of the Year will coincide with the work of the Association of Microfinance Institutions in Kenya. The Kenya National Committee draws from a broad range of 22 organizations representing government, microfinance institutions, and informal sector umbrella organizations. Plans include the mapping of microfinance institutional presence throughout the country to ascertain where there is a need for a stronger or better services and village level activities with "open days" to promote microfinance institutions in areas where there is most need.
To raise public awareness about microfinance, newspaper supplements in "The Nation" and "The Standard" will publicize the work of microfinance institutions and other relevant stakeholders. To celebrate the launch, the provincial capitals will host guest speakers and exhibitions where microfinance institutions can explain microcredit schemes and facilitate the opening of new accounts. Throughout the Year, workshops, conferences, school based programmes will promote knowledge about microfinance. Awards will be given to institutions for innovative practices in the sector.

South Africa
In South Africa, the Year interim secretariat will soon be replaced by a permanent secretariat that will be include the Department of Trade and Industry as a lead department, as well as the Ministry of Foreign affairs and other stakeholders from microfinance industry. A seminar is planned to take place in Pretoria with the participation of the departments of Economic Development and Tourism from nine provinces and will address the challenges faced by microfinance institutions and share success stories and best practices.

Zambia
In Zambia, a number of activities are planned, many of them focusing on the development of the microfinance and rural banking sector. Further initiatives include the inclusion of microfinance in all development and poverty reduction programmes, legal reforms aimed at facilitating the growth of the sector and a promotional drive that includes a microfinance week and a national microfinance summit.

 
 
Current and Upcoming Events
 
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Aishwarya Rai

Aishwarya Rai, actress and Year of Microcredit spokesperson
"Throughout my travels, I have learned that we can do much more to help women and children who are economically vulnerable. By giving low-income women access to credit and savings, they can increase their incomes, build assets and better the lives of their families. They are able to spend their money on what is important to them: medical care, better food and education for their children. In my home country of India, I have seen the beauty in empowering women. It is up to us to give them a chance and along with the United Nations and microfinance we are doing just that."
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