December 18, 2015 - Ikere, Ekiti State, Nigeria. A team of local PEP researchers in Nigeria host a national policy conference to present and discuss their findings on the ways and conditions to achieve poverty alleviation through micro finance. Organized in collaboration with the Amoye Microfinance Bank, the event gathered a great number of key policy actors - including high officials from various ministries who actively participated in the discussion and confirmed the uptake of PEP findings to inform future policy initiatives.
The objective of this team’s research project - supported by PEP under the 2nd round of the PAGE initiative - was to assess the effects of a rural microcredit scheme targeting women, on the vulnerability and empowerment of beneficiaries and their households. Their findings contribute to inform the policy debate on the promises of microfinance, specifically relating to the multidimensional nature of the impacts, effects on family members of beneficiaries, and the relevance of institutional factors for the design of microcredit schemes. Find out more about the research methods, findings and ensued policy recommendations in the following PEP working paper: “The impact of a rural microcredit and financial inclusion schemes targeting women on household vulnerability and economic empowerment: evidence from South West Nigeria”
The study was conducted in collaboration with the Amoye Microfinance Bank (AMB) Ltd., first-hand user of the research findings and co-organizer of the conference. The main objective of this conference was to present and discuss the policy implications of their research findings in the broader context of microcredit and poverty alleviation. The team's presentation was followed by a discussion with the participants, who included the Deputy Secretary-General of the National Association of Microfinance Banks in Nigeria, several high-level officials of the AMB, members of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the National Planning Commission and the Ekiti State Government, national media and representatives of the micro finance banks’ customers, as well as experts from the academia. The discussions generated keen interest as well as highly relevant feedbacks and comments from the audience. Follow this link to access the event's program.
The collaboration with the Amoye Microfinance Bank, who invited the majority of attending policy makers and other key attendants, has surely contributed significantly to the success of this event. Indeed, as this kind of collaboration with industry players is a first of its kind in the Ekiti State (also rare in Nigeria), it has enhanced the likelihood of effective and broader dissemination of the research findings. During the discussion, the participants (especially the bank’s customer representatives) expressed their views about the findings and how these will help shape their views on microcredit, and all acknowledged the outstanding work of the PEP researchers. Finally, at some point during the event, representatives of the Ekiti State government announced their intent to design and implement a new policy initiative for poverty alleviation through microcredit.
Over the following few days, the event and related discussions were reported through various medias and news broadcasts such as in the Nigerian Tribune. Moreover, the conference was preceded by a national TV program - DayBreak Nigeria, on EKTV - in which featured PEP researchers Dr. Damilola Olajide and Dr. Rufus Akindola, were invited as discussants. The program was highly successful. The Deputy State governor, Dr. Olushola Eleka, later called the research team to congratulate them on the program and asked to be sent a copy of the PEP research report.