We are thrilled to announce that a Memorandum of understanding between associations of MFIs of Central Asian countries was signed on 30th June during the 24th MFC Annual Conference in Istanbul.
This initiative was put forward by The Association of Microfinance Institutions of Kazakhstan (AMFOK), a long-standing member of the MFC network and was supported by organisations from Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
First major event that is the fruit of this cooperation is the Central Asian Forum of MFIs that is taking place in Almaty on 12th October 2022.
On the 29th and 30th of June 2022, the Microfinance Centre (MFC) held its 24th Annual Conference to explore the microfinance investment landscape and opportunities, important sector updates, and the latest approaches to gender, green finance, technological challenges and financial inclusion of refugees and migrants. The event welcomed more than 400 microfinance practitioners, policy makers, experts, investors, IT providers, donors, social finance enthusiasts from 40 countries.
The theme of the conference “Microfinance investing through uncertainty” was very relevant for Kazakhstan MFIs. During the event, which was a great networking opportunity, negotiations were held with leading investment companies, the subject of which was to attract investment in the Kazakh microfinance sector.
The Association of Microfinance Institutions of Kazakhstan (AMFOK) is a long-standing member of the MFC network that unites over 100 organisations across 36 countries of Europe, Central Asia, who together deliver responsible microfinance services to almost 2,000,000 low-income clients.
AMFIK has put forward an initiative to establish a Coordinating Council of Associations of MFIs of Central Asian countries, which was supported by colleagues from Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
The conference in Istanbul was a perfect spot to formalize this initiative and on 30th June a Memorandum of understanding between associations of MFIs of Central Asian countries was signed.
The objectives of the memorandum are:
1) discussion and development of recommendations for the development of national microfinance sector development programs.
2) promotion of generally accepted microfinance practices and values, including, but not limited to:
- social impact management in MFIs;
- improving the level of financial literacy of the population;
- increasing the level of digital literacy of the population;
- financial inclusion;
- smart campaign, etc.
3) creation of a centralized and technological hub for the support and development of MFIs in the region;
4) promotion of microfinance best practices;
5) promotion of microfinance values taking into account the interests of the final beneficiaries, including consumers of microfinance products and services;
6) organization and promotion of access to investment companies to attract external and internal investments;
7) development of a “backbone” communication network to ensure and facilitate access to the movement of capital – human, financial and technological;
8) organization and holding of regional conferences.
AMFOK, as the initiator of this association, proposed to hold the Central Asian Forum of MFIs in Almaty. The proposal was supported by colleagues from other countries. Investors from Europe and major international financial institutions were also invited to the Forum. The event will take place on 28th October 2022.