| Gambia Women’s Finance Association (GAWFA) has, for the first time, emerged victorious at a global competition that focuses on how to manage risk in an uncertain economic climate while continuing to meet the needs of women entrepreneurs.|
Pic: GAWFA CEO Njie-Mbye
Held in New York, USA, from 5 to 8 April this year, the 9th annual competition attracted participants from all over the world.
Known as the Capital Market Conference and Investors Forum, the competition was organised this year on the theme “Liquidity Management" by the Women's World Banking, in collaboration with JP Morgan-Chase, one of the largest financial institutions in the United States.
GAWFA took first in the first round of the competition and came out second in the final round, a step behind Xac Bank of Mongolia.
Oley Njie-Mbye, who represented GAWFA at the conference, told Marketplace that the conference brought together over 400 men and women from different countries around the world to celebrate women entrepreneurship and to support financial inclusion for the poor.
GAWFA’s chief executive officer, who was accompanied to the conference by Bakary Dibba, accountant at GAWFA, said the conference gave the participants the opportunity to share best practices in the field of management, gender and finance.
Mrs Njie-Mbye stated that the agenda of the conference focused on issues at macro and local levels, challenges facing the sector as well as panels on product diversification and risk management.
She said the snapshot of the competition included GAWFA products, offering financial highlights, client segments, key statistics and thorough analysis of GAWFA.
CEO Njie-Mbye credited the staff of GAWFA for their team work, dedication and support. “This is why we won the award,” she said, adding that it was the support and encouragement of the staff that resulted in the company winning the award and making the whole of Gambia proud.
“The award is not a victory for GAWFA alone but for The Gambia as a whole, because considering the size of the countries that participated in this competition, GAWFA becoming the champion is a great history for The Gambia,” she said.
GAWFA is committed to building upon the existing strength as its remediate weakness to confront an increasingly competitive environment, Mrs Njie Mbye noted, while calling on investors both individuals and institutions in The Gambia and beyond to invest and buy GAWFA’s shares at D10 per share.
GAWFA, the first and largest microfinance institution in The Gambia, was established in 1987 and has been an affiliate of the Women’s World Banking network (WWB) headquartered in New York, USA.
The vision and mission of GAWFA is the transformation of the financial and social system of The Gambia “to assure an equitable distribution of productive resources between men and women”.
The association aims to build and maintain a viable and sustainable women’s organisation that will continue to serve as a financial intermediary to enhance the entrepreneurship development of low-income women, promote capacity building, eradicate poverty, and increase women’s participation in the socio-economic development of The Gambia.