|GAWFA CEO, Oley Njie|
A six-day management development course and training of trainers, for mid-level managers of microfinance institutions in Africa, organized by Africa Microfinance Network (AFMIN) kicks-off in Banjul, The Gambia on Monday.
Hosted by Gambia Women’s Finance Association (GAWFA), the largest microfinance institution in the country, the course is being held in collaboration with the Centre for Microfinance Leadership at the Women’s World Banking.
The programme is financed by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation, and is aimed at “addressing the key concepts of managing for results and also to develop transformational skills for microfinance institutions managers”.
The training course is also intended to help the participants (from across Africa) to “clarify their roles and responsibilities and to improve their strategic thinking through practical exercises base on technical knowledge in microfinance”.
Speaking at the opening on May 23, Mr Davy Serge Azakpame, CEO of Africa Microfinance Network (AFMIN), said: “good leadership and governance are important in the management of microfinance institutions.”
“Good leadership is one of key success factors in management.”
When she took her turn, the CEO of GAWFA Mrs Oley Njie Mbye exhorts managers of microfinance institutions in Africa that they should be what she called “go getters” and always lead by example.
Mrs Njie Mbye noted that where necessary, microfinance institutions managers should allow their subordinates to take the lead in order to motivate and provide them with the opportunity to be on the driver’s seats in huddles and meetings.
“That way they can experience what it is like to be a leader so that they can see your world through their own lens,” she said.
|Participants - Africa Microfinance Managers|
She challenged managers to be flexible, adapt to changes and the paradigm shifts that microfinance institutions are often faced with. She adds: “You should therefore be able to wear different hats everyday and embrace both leadership and management skills with trust, integrity, diversity, and respect for all.”
According to her, the quest for knowledge is ceaseless and for this reason, the course attendants should not limit their skill development to the knowledge they gain from their immediate bosses. Be diverse in your search and seek knowledge from all walks of life, be it from your family, community, or government.
On his part, Ebrima Jawara, the coordinator of the rural finance project, revealed that the project has spent millions of dollars supporting microfinance institutions in The Gambia. “We will continue to strengthen them in a holistic manner,” he stressed.