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The Capacity Building SEEP/AMFIU Grant
In a continued effort to develop and expand a professional human resource base in the microfinance industry, AMFIU in partnership with the SEEP Network secured a grant to sponsor microfinance senior and middle level managers (AMFIU members only) on a cost-sharing Scholarship basis for a diploma in microfinance.

The aim of the scholarship is to build a mass of qualified professionals to run the microfinance industry. This year, the sponsorship will be given to 15- 20 students on a first come 1st serve basis. The sponsorship will cover only 50% of the tuition either at MUBS, MCC-UIB or any other university that has a microfinance academic programme that runs for one year. The rest of the tuition should be an internal arrangement between the institution and the candidate.

HIV/AIDS Workplace Policy Workshop
The effects of HIV/AIDS at workplaces have become a worldwide concern. The microfinance industry in particular is one sector that faces the problem of managing HIV/AIDS in workplaces.
AMFIU as a network of MFIs in Uganda has been involved in creating awareness among its members in combating the effects of HIV/AIDS at the workplace and with the communities that the MFIs serve. As part of AMFIU?s capacity building efforts for its members, it organized a workshop on HIV/AIDS workplace policies held at Ridar Hotel in SEETA. It was well attended by managers and human resource managers from the member institutions and was supported by GTZ.

Measuring Performance of MFIs? Workshop
This workshop was organized in conjunction with the SEEP Network. The participants were trained on how to use the SEEP framework tool when generating performance reports, for analysis and monitoring in a three day workshop held at the regency hotel in Kampala. AMFIU members from various parts of the country attended the workshop.

Awareness Creation
The public need for information regarding various issues in microfinance is overwhelming. As response to this need, AMFIU embarked on a countrywide awareness campaign through the print media. The Secretariat is running articles on various issues regarding microfinance in most of the local news papers like the New Vision, Monitor, Orumuri, Bukedde and the East African. Please, watch out for these articles so that you can share them with your communities.

Citigroup Micro-entrepreneurship Award
As part of Citigroup?s ongoing commitment to the field of microfinance, it supports the Microentrepreneurship Awards program that is meant to highlight the achievements of some of the most innovative microentrepreneurs in Uganda.
The award?s programme also helps in increasing global awareness of the important role that microentrepreneurs play in their local economies, and the significance of microfinance as a tool in poverty alleviation. This year, AMFIU won the bid to spearhead this programme in Uganda. MFIs will be allowed to submit a number of applications per organization. The contestants will be judged on a variety of categories by the national Award Selection Committee, which is comprised of microfinance experts, government officials, as well as local celebrities. Winning contestants and their loan officers will be invited to attend the Citigroup Microentrepreneurship Awards Ceremony to be held in November 2006 and will receive prizes.

Lobby Efforts
The issue of microfinance interest rates has been a major debate in various circles. Many concerns on the issue have been raised by legislators, politicians and government. As part of a follow up on previous meetings held to discuss the topic, AMFIU called a lobby sub-committee meeting to discuss proactive measures to deal with the interest rate issue.

Capacity Building for the Board and Secretariat
AMFIU?s Programme Manager Mr. Charles Kilibo, enrolled for a summer course at the Bankakademie in German.
The Executive Director Mr. David T Baguma attended a three weeks course in Israel.
The above human resource capacity building measures were supported by the Financial Systems Development programme of GTZ/SIDA.