BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan. 28
By Fidan Babayeva – Trend:
The Azerbaijan Microfinance Association (AMFA) implements projects for development of both the microfinance sector and micro and small entrepreneurship in order to increase financial inclusion in Azerbaijan, Chairman of the Association’s Board Jalal Aliyev told Trend on Jan.28.
According to Aliyev, first of all, the association submitted its proposals on legislation to the relevant state and government institutions.
"If these proposals are taken into account, loans of non-banking credit organizations (NBCOs) will become more affordable for the population, as well as for people involved in micro-enterprises," he said.
Besides, the chairman stressed that AMFA is implementing projects to increase financial inclusion, financial literacy for micro and small entrepreneurs.
"As an example, the ‘Sustainable Development of Women Entrepreneurs’ project can be mentioned, which is part of a larger program to promote active and effective participation of organizations civil society in the design and implementation of a national agenda for achieving the gender-responsive Sustainable Development Goals, as well as promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women,” he noted.
"The association has implemented more than 50 international projects. Among the main activities of AMFA in 2021 will be to stimulate women's entrepreneurship," added Aliyev.
The microfinancing was introduced in Azerbaijan in the mid-1990s as a strategy to meet the economic needs of up to one million internally displaced people and refugees who were forced to leave their houses during the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
A group of international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) began offering micro-financing services to low-income residents and war-affected people to create opportunities for obtaining income and jobs in 1996.
They began to meet informally to share information about their work experience to remove the limitations that international NGOs face by issuing the loans with interest rates aimed at achieving sustainability.
The members of this informal working group decided to formally form the group into an association that will serve as the coordination microfinance center in Azerbaijan in December 2001.