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Al Tadamun’s senior management team attended The Sanabel Microfinance Network of Arab Countries’ 10th Annual Conference at Intercontinental Dubai – Festival City, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates from September 29 – 30, 2014. The theme of the conference was “Microfinance at Crossroads; Current Developments and Future Prospects in the Arab States”. The opening ceremony was attended by Mr. Hassan Farid, Chairman of The Sanabel Microfinance Network of Arab Countries, Mr. Zaher Al Munajjed, Chairman of Grameen Jameel Microfinance Ltd, Ms. Sahar Nasr, Program Manager and Leader at the World Bank Group and His Excellency Abdul Basset Al Janahi, CEo Dubai SME. The aim of the conference was to provide an overview on the state of the industry in Arab countries, highlighting current developments and discussing present and future potential opportunities for growth.

This two-day event was attended by over 500 microfinance practitioners, donors, investors, and government representatives from the region and worldwide to share and exchange experiences on the latest developments in the microfinance industry in the Arab region and beyond; through sessions, trainings, debates, and roundtable discussions.

The Arab microfinance industry is currently passing through a delicate phase. While building the industry’s capacity is a prerequisite for its enhancement, creating an enabling environment that allows innovative product diversification is essential in successfully achieving the vision of financial inclusion.

The conference addressed alternative approaches to serve the financially underserved by sharing experiences and innovations in technology platforms, progress towards improved regulatory structures, and options for transformation, in addition to capacity building of MFIs. The conference’s focus was also devoted to the clients and opportunities to improve services of the sector based on the universal standards for social performance, client protection principles, and financial literacy programs.

The Sanabel 2014 conference was a platform for exchanging experiences, ideas, knowledge, and discussing good practices among Arab and international stakeholders. It paved the road to appropriate planning for financial inclusion in the Arab microfinance industry based on regional and international experiences.

As for Al Tadamun’s team, they keenly sought to network with other MFIs from the MENA region and worldwide to share experiences as well as get introduced to donors and investors who are willing to invest and partner with Arab MFIs