https://www.myjoyonline.com/microfinance-has-the-power-to-bridge-the-gap-between-the-rich-and-the-poor-uncdf-policy-specialist/-------https://www.myjoyonline.com/microfinance-has-the-power-to-bridge-the-gap-between-the-rich-and-the-poor-uncdf-policy-specialist/

A Policy and Ecosystem Specialist at the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), Clara Arthur, has underscored the pivotal role of microfinance in advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

According to her, microfinance plays a crucial role in empowering individuals to create their own livelihoods, fostering entrepreneurship, and facilitating job creation.

She said this when delivering the keynote address at the 12th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Ghana Association of Microfinance Companies (GAMC) themed "Microfinance and the UN Sustainable Development Goals"

The Policy and Ecosystem Specialist believed that when microfinance institutions support micro-enterprises and small businesses, they contribute to inclusive economic growth, reduction of inequality, and the promotion of decent work opportunities.

"Microfinance has the power to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor, promoting social inclusion and reducing inequality," she said on Wednesday.

Madam Arthur further indicated that reaching out to marginalised populations, including the youth and returning migrants, ensures that "no one is left behind in the pursuit of sustainable development."

The UNCDF Specialist was optimistic that with the collective efforts and collaboration of microfinance institutions, the goal of achieving the SDGs will actualise.

"I am confident that through our collective efforts and collaboration, we can continue to harness the potential of microfinance to create a more just, inclusive, and sustainable world."

At the same event, the Dean of Economics at the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Prof. James Atta Peprah, said the effective implementation of microfinance could significantly contribute to achieving several SDGs by providing crucial financial services to underserved populations, particularly low-income individuals and small businesses.

One of the primary benefits highlighted by Prof. Peprah was the potential of microfinance to address SDG 1, which aims to eradicate poverty.

He explained that when microfinance institutions provide access to credit for low-income households and small businesses, it empowers them to start or expand their ventures, leading to increased income and improved living standards. This, in turn, directly supports the overarching objective of SDG 1 - No Poverty.

Moreover, Prof. Peprah indicated the connection between microfinance and SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure), SDG 2 (Zero Hunger), and SDG 5 (Gender Equality).

"Microfinance institutions should be able to provide credit facilities to low-income households and small businesses so that they can use this credit as a startup or to expand their businesses. This increases the income of these households and improves their living standards," Prof. Peprah explained.

Providing 11 pillars for microfinance institutions to utilise to efficiently achieve the SDGs, Prof Peprah highlighted the importance of education in this context.

According to him, although microfinance has a crucial role, staff should not hesitate to educate their customers.

He stressed that education is instrumental in ensuring that low-income households and the underserved can effectively utilise financial resources provided by microfinance institutions.

Taking her turn, the GAMC Board Vice Chairperson, Josephine Mawuse Sackey called for unity and commitment to bring about positive change and economic resilience for their customers.

She also commended all and sundry for their collective hard work and unwavering commitment to ensuring the progress of the association.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.



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