Sanabel launches its 8th Annual Microfinance Conference in Amman

Press release
Published June 7th, 2011 - 06:47 GMT
A picture from Sanabel 7th Annual Conference
A picture from Sanabel 7th Annual Conference

Sanabel -The Microfinance Network of Arab Countries will launch its Eighth Annual Conference under the patronage of H.E Dr. Marouf Al Bakhit, today Tuesday June 7th, 2011 at Le Méridien Hotel in Amman.  

Titled “Microfinance in the Arab Region: Challenges of the Past and Opportunities of the Future", this year’s annual conference will gather more than 600 microfinance practitioners, government officials, investors, donors and other industry stakeholders in the MENA region and worldwide. It will provide a forum for stakeholders to tackle issues and share successes that are at the forefront of the industry, and provides an opportunity for participants to engage in professional exchanges and to network with players from all sectors of the industry.

Ms. Ranya Abdel Baki, Executive Director of Sanabel stated, “Microfinance refers to the provision of financial services to poor or low-income clients, including  self-employed individuals who have no access to finance. Though the Arab microfinance industry is quite young, it is one of the fastest growing regions when compared to its global peers, and the annual conference has played an important role in increasing awareness of the microfinance sector in the Arab region.”

Mr. Ziad Al Refai, Sanabel’s Vice Chairman and Executive Director of Tamweelcom, Sanabel’s local partner in Jordan, stated, “We look forward to seeing the Conference makes a strong impact on the emerging industry in Jordan by offering a platform for Arab practitioners to discuss the impact of the current changes in the region on the microfinance industry and find solutions to overcome the challenges being faced.”

The conference will feature an award program celebrating microfinance institutions (MFIs) under three main categories; namely, “Sustainable Growth”, “Innovation”, and “Leadership”. Outstanding microentrepreneurs from Jordan will be also recognized in the opening plenary and will be given a chance to display and sell their products – amongst other local microentrepreneurs – in a Souk (marketplace) throughout the conference duration. The conference will also include an exhibition hall for MIS providers and vendors to showcase their latest technologies.

Furthermore, this year’s conference will be preceded by the Third Policy Forum – which is being co-organized with the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP). Last but not least, a special one-day event for national networks is organized in cooperation with SEEP Network to share experiences and discuss topics relevant to the Arab region. This second annual gathering of microfinance networks of the Middle East and North Africa is an opportunity to provide support to existing national networks as well as encourage the establishment of new national networks in the Arab region.

Background Information


 Sanabel was established in 2002 when 17 representatives from 7 Arab countries gathered in Tunisia to launch the first and only network designed to serve microfinance institutions in the Arab world.  At this meeting the group adopted by-laws and membership criteria, articulated a vision, mission and objectives and elected an executive committee.  At its General Assembly meeting in December 2003, Sanabel members voted to formalize the organization by registering Sanabel as a not-for-profit organization and to establish a regional office.  In 2004, the organization was incorporated and registered as a nonprofit organization in both Atlanta, Georgia, USA and in Cairo, Egypt where the headquarters is located.

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