Palestine Monetary Authority welcomed today delegate of female graduates of Palestinian Business Administration Program administered by the Bank of Palestine in association with the International Finance Corporation. A delegate of the General Management of the Bank of Palestine joined the event.
His Excellency Mr. Azzam Shawwa, the Governor of Palestine Monetary Authority, welcomed the delegates and praised in his remarks via videoconference between Ramallah and Gaza the Program, which aimed to motivate and train women entrepreneurs running small and medium-sized enterprises in Palestine. The Program also developed the capacities of women in different areas. Mr. Shawwa thanked the Board of Directors and the General Management of the Bank of Palestine for the creative initiative and the distinctive program.
Mr. Shawwa also said that the Program was consistent and in harmony with the trends and policies and strategies of Palestine Monetary Authority. In 2017, PMA held the “Promoting Women’s Access to Banking” conference in cooperation with the Association of Banks in Palestine and the International Finance Corporation, and the European Palestinian Credit Guarantee Fund. The conference was held under the auspices of the Palestinian Prime Minister Dr. Rami Alhamdallah. The conference produced a number of recommendations and a work plan to promote women’s access to banking, said PMA Governor H.E. Mr. Azzam Shawwa.
Mr. Azzam Shawwa added that despite the big gender gap in having and using banking financial services, the awareness campaigns of PMA and the banking system and their partners brought forth tangible improvement in promoting women’s access to banking during the past five years. The amount of the overall facilities granted to women by banks and lending institutions was at the end of June 2018 more than $653 million; an increase of 92% compared to the same figure at the end of 2013, said Mr. Shawwa. The number of female borrowers reached 67,834 which was a 29% increase in comparison with the same period. The number of borrowers among female entrepreneurs running small and medium-sized enterprises hit 11,140; an increase of 10% and the overall facilities granted to women reached approximately $82 million; an increase of 153% in comparison with the 2013 figure.
Mr. Shawwa called on banks and lending institutions to rethink their future financing policies to meet emerging needs of having financing programs that include new banking products that target women including entrepreneurs running micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.
Bank of Palestine General Manager Mr. Rushdi Al Ghalayini praised PMA, PMA’s Governor, and PMA’s department for their distinctive work in support of banks and economic development. Mr. Al Ghalayini said that the Bank of Palestine was largely focused on promoting women’s access to banking services and on empowering women in the society. The percentage of female employees at the Bank of Palestine is 35%, according to Mr. Al Ghalayini, and the Bank of Palestine’s senior management seeks to increase the percentage.
Mr. Alaa El Din Al-Radwan, Deputy General Manager of the Bank of Palestine, thanked PMA for hosting the delegates and for supporting and promoting women’s access to banking programs.
The delegates were briefed about PMA’s work, especially financial inclusion and electronic clearance, by a number of PMA’s directors. The delegate also toured PMA’s headquarters.