PMA in Partnership with Saharaka, BMZ, GIZ Organizes a Workshop on the Role of the Microfinance Institutions in Financial Inclusion
Palestine Monetary Authority, PMA, and the Palestinian Network for Small and Microfinance (SHARAKAH), in cooperation with The Ministry of Economy and International Cooperation of Federal Republic of Germany, held a workshop in the West Bank city of Jericho to discuss the role played by microfinance institution to support the financial inclusion, and PMA’s vision regarding supervising them. The two-day workshop was meant to support provision of financial services to every Palestinian seeking them, and it was an excellent opportunity to meet stakeholders in the specialized lending sector and talk about current substantial issues that sustain development and prosperity of this sector.
The workshop was officially opened by the PMA governor Dr. Jihad Al-Wazir, GIZ Microfinance Sector Counselor for MENA region Mr. Thomas Rahn and Head of SHARAKAH Board of Directors Mr. Sameer Barghouthi.
In his opening speech, Mr. Rahn extended thanks to participants, and explained the concept of financial inclusion and the role of specialized microfinance sector for the economic development in Palestine, as well as its significance to the Palestinian conditions in general and the importance of launching this strategy. Mr. Rann also said that the workshop includes another one specialized in capacity building for financial inclusion.
Dr. Al-Wazir talked about financial inclusion as the key tool that subsidizes small and medium-sized enterprises, stating that entrepreneurs should be supported so that inclusive financing would be very effective, not only for poverty reduction but also to bring income for the low-income citizens by helping them start their own businesses, which renders them a productive group that contributes to the economic performance as a whole. Dr. Al-Wazir pointed out that financial inclusion is not an ultimate objective in itself but a fundamental requirement to bring about an integrated and solid financial system.
Mr. Riad Abu Shehadeh, Director of the Supervision and Inspection Department at PMA presented the Authority’s vision for the microfinance institutions, where he reiterated that PMA is keen to create a mature and sustainable sector that operates within a united legal environment and best practices. Mr. Abu Shehadeh said that PMA will undertake a special kind of scrutinizing to this sector in a way that observes distinctiveness and conditions.
Mr. Sameer Barghouthi, Head of SHARAKAH Board of Directors addressed the social role of microfinance institutions , which target marginalized groups in the traditional financial sector, where this role is an essential part of this firms’ mission, which treat their clients equally as they care about sustainability of financial performance.
The PMA has actually started following up the microfinance institutions through a special division follows the Supervision and Inspection Department , which observes and inspects financial banking and non-banking foundations in Palestine. This inclusion represents the pillar for official and financial inclusion system which is a strategic objective for PMA.
It is worth mentioning that the workshop is financed by the German Ministry of Economy, Development and Cooperation and carried out by GIZ.
By Thomas Rahn