JIS News

Minister of Industry and Tourism, Aloun Ndombet-Assamba has said the Government was fully supportive of the awareness-building activities of the International Year of Micro Credit, and was committed to ensuring that the activities for the year went beyond promotion, to producing sustainable outcomes for micro entrepreneurs.
Mrs. Assamba was making a statement on the International Year of Micro Credit in the House of Representatives, yesterday (July 27).
She explained that the premier activity in celebration of the year, which was launched on July 27, would be a national symposium on microfinance to be held in November, where international and local experts on finance would make presentations, with a focus on the building of sustainable microfinance operations and the role of the state in stimulating inclusive financial sectors.
The Minister informed that regional consultations, prior to the symposium, would be held in Portmore, St. Thomas, St. Ann and St. Elizabeth and would provide an opportunity for stakeholders and the government to discuss issues which impacted on the provision and access to credit, and for recommendations to be made concerning improvements in the policy framework for micro credit.
Providing background, Mrs. Assamba said according to Secretary General Kofi Annan, “the International Year of Micro Credit underscores the importance of microfinance as an integral part of our collective effort to meet the Millennium Development Goals: sustainable access to microfinance helps to alleviate poverty by generating income, creating jobs, allowing children to go to school, enabling families to obtain health care and empowering people to make choices that best serve their needs”.
“The mission of the year is to promote and give momentum to sustainable micro credit and micro finance worldwide, to highlight their contribution to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and build inclusive financial sectors that give people the tools to improve their lives,” the Minister said.
Here in Jamaica, she informed, “pursuant to the invitation of the General Assembly for member states to form National Committees or focal points with responsibility for promoting activities related to observance of the year”, a Co-ordinating Committee comprising a broad level of stakeholders from the private and public sectors had been established and was focused on: raising awareness and understanding of the role of the micro credit and micro finance in poverty alleviation; and developing critical action steps that would position micro finance as an integral part of the country’s financial system.