Sanabel's Ninth Annual Conference was held under the patronage of H.E. Dr. Abdel Rahman Al-Khedr, Khartoum Governor at Corinthia Hotel in Khartoum, Sudan from October 31st – November 2nd, 2012. His Excellency, the Vice President Mr. Ali Othman Taha, and H.E. Dr. Abdel Rahman Al-Khedr, Khartoum Governor, inaugurated the conference.
The theme of this year's conference was "New Decade for Sanabel, New Services from the Microfinance Sector". And over the course of three days, the participants discussed the challenges facing the Arab region in light of the continued growth of the sector, and the effects of global developments and trends on the region, especially the impact of the Arab revolutions and uprisings on the sector. Also, there was a focus on;
- the important political changes, which happened over the past two years, and resulted inevitable changes on the social, political and economic levels.
- the importance of developing strategies for inclusive growth in the upcoming period to address issues related to poverty and food insecurity and job opportunities.
Moreover,ideas about opportunities to provide new and innovative products in the region during the coming period were discussed. These products are:
- Islamic microfinance products: What are the challenges that hinder these models and their ability to reach and meet the needs of the poor in a sustainable manner.
- Micro-insurance products: How can the design of micro-insurance products suit the nature, the conditions and the capabilities of the low-income clients, and at the same time meet the clients’ needs.
- Savings products for Youth: How canyouth savings products be particularly effective in enhancing the financial capability dimension of the financial inclusion.
The conference was attended by more than 350 participants, including microfinance practitioners, government officials, investors, donors and other industry stakeholders from the Arab region as well as 60 regional and international speakers.
In addition to the wide-ranging conference program, the conference also presented a significant networking opportunity for all the conference participants.