In a few weeks, the Microcredit Summit Campaign, in partnership with the Arab Gulf Programme for Development (AGFUND), will be hosting the 18th Microcredit Summit: Frontier Innovations in Financial Inclusion, the first major event for the microfinance industry in 2016. The four-day conference will be held in Abu Dhabi from March 14-17 and will give participants the opportunity to collaborate, discuss, and address the UN’s Sustainable Goals (SDGs) announced last September.
The Summit will carry on a long-standing tradition of attracting high-level participants. International thought leader for microfinance and social business, Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus, will headline as a keynote speaker along with Queen Sofia of Spain, who has long been a champion of microfinance. Keynote speakers from the region will be Prince Talal of Saudi Arabia, AGFUND founder and advocate for women’s empowerment and microcredit, and H.E Hussain J. Al Nowais, the chairman of the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, strategic partner for the Summit. The keynote speakers are rounded out by the director of the Microcredit Summit Campaign, Larry Reed, who has a quarter century of experience designing, supporting, and leading activities and organizations that empower the extreme poor to transform their lives and their communities.
The confirmed speakers clearly reflect the theme for this year’s Summit, “Frontier Innovations in Microfinance.” Bdour Alhyari from Jordan-based Microfund for Women will speak on the increasingly important topic of microinsurance. Dr. Jaime Aristotle Alip from CARD MRI in the Philippines and Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Gender, Children, and Social Protection, Della Sowah, will explore innovative pathways for financial and social inclusion. Lauren Hendricks from CARE USA and Mary Munyiri from ECLOF Kenya are other notable figures confirmed for the Summit. They will contribute their insights on savings groups and combing agriculture value chains with microfinance services, respectively.