||02-21-2005 03:14 AM
KAMPALA - Her Royal Highness, Princess Maxima of the Netherlands, will this week spend time visiting Small and Medium scale Enterprises in East Africa.
Princess Maxima, a member of the advisory group for the International Year of Micro credit, will pay a working visit to Uganda and Kenya from tomorrow till Friday.
According to a release issued to The Monitor, Princess Maxima's visit will coincide with that of the Dutch minister of Development Cooperation, Ms Agnes van Ardenne, who arrives tomorrow and leaves on Wednesday.
The two will meet the Minister and officials of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, the Central Banks, Micro Finance Institutions, women entrepreneurs and politicians.
Discussions with various groups will centre on development of the financial sector and how finances can be made more accessible to a larger segment of the population through legislation.
Micro credit refers to the financing of small-sized businesses in developing countries.
This year, the Advisors Group will focus on finding solutions to the acute shortage of small-scale financial services in developing countries where many millions of people are still excluded from the financial sector, and are therefore frustrated in their efforts to achieve economic independence and development.
The United Nations General Assembly designated the year 2005 as the International Year of Microcredit, in the hope that governments, banks, businesses and non-governmental organisations will make a great leap forward in this field, thus contributing to achieving the Millennium Development Goal to halve global poverty by 2015.
Ms Ardenne and the director general for Foreign Economic Relations, Mr Dirk Bruinsma, will lead a business delegation to seek out business contacts and potentials especially in industrial and domestic waste management, shipping, consumer construction (Hotels and Estates), among others.
A business meeting between the delegation and Ugandan businesses is scheduled for tomorrow and Wednesday at the Speke Resort Munyonyo.