Field Visit – Rural Bank in the Gambia

Day 3 Wednesday 9 September

Following an intense morning of procurement and loan administration, the group departed on a field trip to the Rural Finance Project - successor of the Rural Finance Initiatives Project. The project, which aims at
- fostering self-sustaining rural Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs)
- ensuring that such MFIs have access to qualified support and
- forging partnerships with others projects for socio-economic and infrastructural development,

It follows a pro-active targeting mechanism to ensure that even the poorest groups have access to the financial services offered.

During the field visit, participants were received at the facilities of the rural banks and had the opportunity to interact with the villagers and project staff in order to learn and see how the bank operates, compare practices and exchange ideas.

Meanwhile, the participants from Northern Nigeria, who due to an unfortunate last minute change in their flight schedules had only arrived in Banjul Monday afternoon, stayed behind and were busy working. They had decided to sacrifice the field trip in order to prepare presentations on those topics they had missed Monday. After delivering 3 excellent presentations in the evening, the group democratically decided that they, too, should now be able to get their certificates on Friday.

by Karen Juergens