The Chief Executive Officer of the Gambia Women’s Finance Association (GAWFA) has told managers of microfinance institutions from all over Africa that they should be “go-getters” and always lead by example.
CEO Oley Njie-Mbye advised managers of microfinance institutions that, where necessary, they should allow their subordinates to take the lead at times to motivate and provide them with the opportunity to be on the drivers’ seats in huddles and meetings. “That way they can experience what it is like to be a leader so that they can see your world though their own lens”.
The GAWFA CEO was speaking on Monday at the beginning of a six-day management development course and training of trainers, for mid-level managers of microfinance institutions in Africa, organized by Africa Microfinance Network (AFMIN) in collaboration with the Centre for Microfinance Leadership at the Women’s World Banking and hosted by GAWFA, the largest microfinance institution in The Gambia.
The programme, financed by Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation, was aimed at addressing the key concepts of managing for results and also to develop transformational skills for microfinance institutions managers.
GAWFA CEO said managers of microfinance institutions “must” be flexible and adapt well to changes and the many paradigm shifts that often face microfinance institutions. “You should therefore be able to wear different hats everyday and embrace both leadership and management skills with trust, integrity, diversity, and respect for all,” she remarked.
She continued: “Please do not assume that you can only develop your leadership skills from your immediate bosses but be diverse in your search and seek knowledge, wisdom and leadership from all sorts of life and all sorts of fields; be it from your family, community, government, and different fields, blue or while collar roles; and different industries from janitorial, engineering, medicine, banking, to microfinance and the list goes on and on.”
For his part, Mr Davy Serge Azakpame, CEO of Africa Microfinance Network (AFMIN), said good leadership and governance are important in the management of microfinance institutions. He said good leadership is one of key success factors in management.
Ebrima Jawara, project coordinator of the rural finance project, said to date, the project has spent millions of dollars supporting microfinance institutions in The Gambia and “we will continue to strengthen them in a holistic manner”.
The training course was designed to help managers in microfinance institutions to clarify their roles and responsibilities and to improve their strategic thinking through practical exercises base on technical knowledge in microfinance.