Both the “speed dating” and “free meeting” sessions for microfinance institutions (MFIs) to sit down with investors were very popular at the SAM (Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance) conference in Addis Ababa. Representatives of dozens of organizations met each other for the first time and renewed old connections.
Duncan Frayne of Switzerland-based Symbiotics Group spoke on behalf of REGMIFA (the Regional MSME Investment Fund for Sub-Saharan Africa), for which his company serves as investment manager. He said, “The value for me is meeting up-and-coming MFIs as well as swapping notes with peer investors. I can quickly get plugged in across multiple regions, which is very valuable because we have investments in 22 countries.”
Asked about the Investor’s Fair at the last SAM in Senegal in 2015, Mr Frayne said, “There are a few MFIs that we made first contact with in Dakar with which we since have closed deals.”
This feature is the last in a sponsored series on the third SAM, which ran from October 9 to October 13 in Addis Ababa. It was organized by ADA, an NGO based in Luxembourg, with the support of Luxembourg’s Ministry for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, in partnership with Microfinance African Institutions Network (MAIN), African Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (AFRACA), African Microfinance Transparency (AMT), the Association of Ethiopian Microfinance Institutions (AEMFI) and Kenya’s Association for Micro-finance Institutions. MicroCapital was engaged to report on-site from the event.
Sources and Additional Resources
2017 SAM Conference
Coverage of the 2017 SAM in Addis Ababa and the 2015 SAM in Dakar by MicroCapital
- SPECIAL REPORT: Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance (SAM, also known as African Microfinance Week) Scheduled for October 9 – October 13, 2017, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
- SPECIAL REPORT: Reinventing Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) to Meet the Needs of SMEs at SAM: Building Staff Capacity, Sharing Default Risk with Investors, Helping Entrepreneurs Think Big
- SPECIAL REPORT: At SAM, Calls for Alternatives to Collateral, Acquiring Insurance, Technical Assistance, Cheaper Loans for SMEs
- SPECIAL REPORT: ADA’s Laura Foschi on Creating Value for SMEs at SAM in Ethiopia, October 2017
- SPECIAL REPORT: Saleh Usman Gashua of AFRACA on Creating Value for SMEs at SAM (Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance)