We stand today at the threshold of a new frontier. Over the horizon lie uncharted experiments in sustainable development and technology, unanswered questions on best practices for gender equity and youth employment, and unresolved debates on the most effective social and financial inclusion policies that create shared solutions for social change. It would be an easier task to stay the course and accept the status quo, but we believe current times require innovativeness, boldness and determination.
The Microcredit Summit Campaign, in partnership with the Arab Gulf Fund Program for Development (AGFUND) and the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, invites you on a journey over the horizon. Join us as we explore “Frontier Innovations in Financial Inclusion” at the 18th Microcredit Summit — under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, vice chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council — this March 14-17, 2016, in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. More than 700 people from the Middle East, Africa, and beyond will explore how microfinance and financial inclusion strategies can create clear pathways out of poverty for the most vulnerable segments of society across the globe.
In recent years, Africa and the Middle East have experienced success, especially with innovations in growing mobile money accounts and experimentations in sub-Saharan Africa. Recent Global Findex 2014 numbers show there is a major opportunity in expanding financial inclusion among women and the poorest households in Africa and the Middle East. But outreach is still low in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), compared to other regions. We must do more to reach those new frontiers in social and financial inclusion for women, youth, the elderly, people with disabilities, and those living in poverty.
Leaders from around the world will convene at the 18th Microcredit Summit to partake in partnership building, knowledge-sharing, and thoughtful discussion around practices and policies that promote outreach, put clients at the center, and accelerate social change. The Summit agenda will explore these questions:
Twenty-sixteen marks the beginning of a seven-year endeavor to make the United Arab Emirates one of the world’s most innovative nations in the world. Join us in Abu Dhabi, the pearl of the emirates, to engage with leaders from microfinance institutions, global development organizations, foundations, social investment firms, and corporations alongside high-level government officials. Together, let’s inspire one another with new challenges and unify ourselves to bring about this change.
Innovation is the only way to make our mark on history. The future will belong to those who embrace the unknown, the terra incognita in our sector, and dare to explore what lies beyond. Let us rise to the challenge together and deliver on our shared responsibility to the most vulnerable and marginalized.
Larry Reed, Director
Microcredit Summit Campaign
Nasser Alkahtani, Executive Director
The Arab Gulf Programme for Development (AGFUND)
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