15 May 2020, Geneva, Switzerland – UNITAR and Arab Gulf Program for Development (AGFUND) launched its first joint online course on Fundamentals of Microfinance as part of a series of online courses aimed at supporting financial inclusion initiatives across the Middle East and Africa. Thanks to the financial support of AGFUND, these training courses are made freely available to the participants. 

This joint initiative with AGFUND recognizes financial inclusion as an enabler of sustainable development goals including eradicating poverty; achieving gender equality and economic empowerment of women; promoting economic growth and jobs; and reducing inequality. It also supports the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) which encourages expanding opportunities for peer learning and experience-sharing among countries and regions to assist policy makers in their formulation in financial inclusion strategies that promotes full and equal access to formal and affordable financial services for all, including women.

The Fundamentals of Microfinance course which has been contextualized to the MENA and African conditions has attracted hundreds of applications from 90 countries globally. 

The course is moderated by international Experts and Practitioners and has created a dynamic learning environment where learners can interact with Experts as well as network and learn from other officials from other countries. Aside from a weekly discussion on a specific topic of interest, the participants are also undertaking a self-led assignment that is peer reviewed by fellow participants. This ensures that the participants assimilate the core learning expectations of the course.

One key aspect of the partnership with AGFUND is how the courses have been developed and rolled-out using App-based microlearning technologies where participants can access the course anytime, anywhere using their mobile devises - including off-line version where internet connection is unreliable.

As of today, the planned 8 online courses scheduled to be delivered in the coming months have attracted thousands of applications from over 90 countries. 

Successful participants will have the opportunity to participate in the next phase of the partnership where participants take the Training-of-Trainers (ToT) course aimed to empower a network of expert trainers from the region to sustain and expand this initiative for greater outreach and engagement at the national level.

For more information about upcoming joint online courses, please visit the AGFUND/UNITAR Global Learning Platform on Financial Inclusion (https://www.un-finance-learn.org).



The Arab Gulf Programme for Development (AGFUND) is a regional organization, established in 1980 by the initiative of His Royal Highness the late Prince Talal bin Abdulaziz and the support of the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council. AGFUND aims at the roots of human development problems, targeting all segments of society without discrimination. For more information about AGFUND, please see: www.agfund.org 

About the Financial Inclusion Platform

This Global Learning Platform on Financial Inclusion was officially launched during the 8th AGFUND Development Forum in Geneva, Switzerland on October 8, 2019. The platform is intended to scale-up training support for finance stakeholders from developing countries wishing to learn about Financial Inclusion and Micro-Credit Management. For more info, visit https://www.un-finance-learn.org

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