It has been disclosed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s Microfinance Project Officer, Bob Conteh, that donors are appreciative of the trend of Sierra Leone’s microfinance project.
This disclosure was made at the Kimbima Hotel auditorium in Freetown, on Friday at a press conference which climaxed days of deliberations on microfinance development of sustainable pro-poor financial sector in the country.
The forum, which was hosted by UNDP in collaboration with its partners, aimed at harmonizing concerns of stakeholders, and also to build a national shared vision for the microfinance sector by discussing critical issues of project implementation.
In his introductory remarks, Mr Conteh accentuated that the forum “…is a way to build an inclusive financial sector in Sierra Leone.”
It was also noted that the model of Sierra Leone’s microfinance formed the basis of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s microfinance model. The Microfinance Investment Technical Assistant who doubles as Chief of Party, Craig Feinberg, gave a brief background of the project. He pointed out that, “it started in July 2004 with four primary components …and 11 partners.” Mr Feinberg heightened that rural outreach was one of the challenges of the project, noting that initially quite a few fragmented sectors were not sustainable when it started.
He emphasized that, “intensifying capacity building and increasing outreach are some of the ways forward that were deliberated on during the forum”.
The Director of Inclusive Finance, Henri Dommel, noted that government had a key role to play in creating the enabling environment, “…especially when there is a need to popularize savings.”