Microcredit in Kenya – Cooperation Aid in Ethiopia

  April 11, 2010 at 5:45 am by

Early this week, Her Majesty Queen Sofia of Spain travelled to Nairobi, Kenya to attend the Africa-Middle East Regional Microcredit Summit, an international meeting organized by the Microcredit Summit Campaign which took place from April 7th to 10th. More than 2,000 people from 40 countries worldwide were present at the meeting, whose main goal is to spread the use of the microfinance in order to eradicate poverty, especially in Africa and the Middle East.

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At her arrival to Nairobi Airport, the Queen was welcomed by the Spanish ambassador in Kenya, Nicolás Martín Cinto, and afterwards she went to the Presidential Palace to meet with H.E. Sr. Mwai Kibaki, President of the Republic of Kenya. The official engagements of the morning finished with a lunch with the Spanish diplomacy who currently works in that country.

In the afternoon, the Queen hosted a reception to the Spanish community in Nairobi and afterward she shared a private meeting with the Microcredit inventor and high reputed economist, Professor Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize laureate in 2006.

On Wednesday morning, Queen Sofia attended the Opening Session of the Africa-Middle East Microcredit Summit & Exhibition where, as special guest, she had the opportunity to addressed the audience; “The fact that the present meeting takes place in Kenya, in the heart of Africa, has further encouraged me to attend it, as I am aware that the right application of microcredit policies in this region, shall be one of the most powerful and supportive instruments we can use to improve the continent’s future. From the beginning of microcredit practices in 1998, Spain has formalized loan operations amounting to seven hundred and thirteen million euros, within the framework of the Microcredit Fund managed by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation,” she said.

At the end of her speech, she took the opportunity to extend to all people present at the summit her “most heartfelt” invitation to come to Valladolid, Spain in 2011 where the next World Microcredit Summit will take place from 14th to 17th November.

After the opening Queen Sofia attended a lunch with some of the guests of the summit, including Princess Maxima of the Netherlands who attended the event as UN Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development.

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On Thursday afternoon, Her Majesty flew to Addis Abeba, Ethiopia. Accompanied by the Spanish Secretary of State of International Cooperation, Soraya Rodríguez, the Queen reviewed the projects that the Spanish Agency of International Cooperation for Development (AECID) develops in Ethiopia.

Spain collaborates with the Ethiopian Government in rendering basic services as education, supply of water and medical attention and also contributes with ten million Euros per year, which is added to other five millions for a UN’s program to improve the sanitary net. Queen Sofia visited the Entoto Helath Center, which is one the 25 health centers which benefitted most from the Spanish aid. She also visited the “Good Samaritan Training Centre”, and the “Association for Women’s Sanctuary and Development”.

On Friday afternoon, the Queen went to the National Palace to meet with the President of the Republic of Ethiopia, Mr Girma Woldegiorgis. During this meeting, they talked about the perspectives of increase the bilateral cooperation in areas as the economic and development.

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