Francisco Noguera

Two Microfinance Conferences Set to Take Place in Colombia this Year

AlvaraliceThe major players of the Microfinance industry will convene twice in Colombia this year. Two major venues are set to take place in the country quite soon.

The first is the Microfinance as a Tool for Peace Building conference, scheduled for next week in Cali and organized by Fundacion Alvaralice, a local NGO. Many of the key actors in the Latin American microfinance community will be part of the discussion, including people like Carmen Velasco from Bolivia’s ProMujer, Maria Otero from ACCION and John Hatch from FINCA International.

What’s even more interesting about this event is its emphasis on discussing the role microfinance can play in conflict resolution and peace building. The Government Agency in charge of reintegration programs aimed at former guerrilla and paramilitary combatants will play a major role and it will surely be interesting to learn not only about development but also reconciliation through enterprise.

(Side note: While writing the last paragraph, Shurush came to mind. It is a microfinance program aimed at fostering business relationships between Arabs and Israelis thorough small business in the West Bank and Gaza. Talk about timeliness. It was founded by Uri Pomerantz, a former Stanford GSB/ KSG dual degree student whom I met a while ago.)

Later in the year the Microfinance Summit Campaign will also touch ground in Colombia, this time in Cartagena. The exact details and registration are not yet available but delegates from over 50 countries are expected to attend, including Dr. Muhammad and representatives from novel and increasingly relevant organizations like Unitus.

We won’t be able to head over there but will do our best to cover both venues through guest posts. Stay tuned for that.