Aqua for All has taken part in the 11th Biennial Microfinance Conference held from January 25 to 28 January 2022, in Bahirdar, Ethiopia. The conference was organised by the Association of Ethiopian Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) and focused on “Promoting Digital Finance and COVID-resilient Financial Services Towards the Achievement of Financial Inclusion”.
Sessions covered topics such as government policy, client protection, digitalisation, governance, serving medium-sized enterprises, rural services, renewable energy, microinsurance, and sanitation. Mr Gashaye Chekol Yihunie, our Country Coordinator Ethiopia, explained how we support local water and sanitation enterprises and gave a presentation about the Ethiopian national WASH@Home programme and WASH financing in the session “Innovative Financing for WASH: FINISH Mondial project experiences” on 27 January.
‘WASH loan portfolios are scarce in Ethiopia. WASH loans are provided as part of house improvement or agriculture loans. This gives Aqua for All new opportunities to work together with the local microfinance industry and Ethiopian government at large’, according to Mr Chekol Yihunie.
The conference created a platform to exchange ideas and share experiences for its over 200 participants representing MFIs, stakeholders, researchers, policymakers, development agencies, and technical assistance providers, which will contribute to the development of the microfinance industry in Ethiopia and further strengthen the policy at the national level.