Scaling Up Microfinance in Africa: Lessons from BRAC Uganda

Date: 10/06/2009
Time: 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Location: The Puck Building, Rice Conference Room / Newman Reception Area
295 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012-9604  map

The New York University Microfinance Initiative (NYUMI) and the
Wagner International Public Service Association (IPSA) present:

Mr. Arif Islam
Country Head of BRAC Uganda
Scaling up microfinance in Africa - Learning from What Works:
The Story of how BRAC grew to become one of the largest microfinance institutions in Uganda in less than three years

Join Mr. Arif Islam, the Country Head of BRAC Uganda, for an intimate discussion on the scaling up of microfinance in Africa.  Mr. Islam played a critical role in establishing BRAC as one of the largest microfinance institutions in Uganda in just three years.  In New York for only a week, Mr. Islam has graciously offered to give the Wagner community a unique perspective into the evolution of BRAC Uganda.
Please join us for an engaging discussion and reception following the presentation.

Mr. Arif Islam is the Country Head of BRAC Uganda.  Mr. Islam has played an instrumental role in launching BRAC Uganda in November 2005, and growing it to become one of the largest microfinance institutions in the country, in that time. BRAC Uganda has disbursed $35 million in loans to more than 90,000 borrowers through its network of 85 branch offices. It has also scaled up health, agriculture, adolescent development and education programs.  Under Mr. Islam's visionary leadership, BRAC has emerged as the largest non-profit in the country, employing more than 1,500 people and touching the lives of more than half a million poor people in Uganda.  

Mr. Islam joined BRAC in 1983 as a Program Organizer, and has since served as Regional Manager, Zonal Manager, and Program Manager of BRAC’s education program in both Bangladesh and Afghanistan.  He holds a Masters in Education and Development from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom.

About BRAC Uganda:
In June 2006, BRAC began operating its Microfinance Program in two districts in Uganda - Kampala and Iganga. Since then, the program has successfully formed 2,352 groups, mobilized 63,407 poor women as members, and disbursed US$16.1 million in microloans to 43,967 members. Microloans are invested primarily in small-scale business, agriculture, and construction. Additionally, the BRAC Uganda primary education program has established 58 learning centers, trained 50 teachers, and graduated 844 children.  Currently 1,891 children are enrolled in the program.  For more information, please visit

About the International Public Service Association:
The International Public Service Association (IPSA) is a graduate organization that brings together members of the Wagner student body with an interest in international public service in order to provide a forum for exchange, debate, education and action in the areas of international public management, policy and finance. An integral part of Wagner School 's Global Public Service initiative, IPSA works in conjunction with faculty, administration, and other student organizations to address students with international interests and keep them informed on international program activities.

About the NYU Microfinance Initiative:
The NYU Microfinance Initiative (NYUMI) is a University-wide task force created to provide a forum for students, faculty, and community members to share knowledge about opportunities and developments in microfinance, raise awareness about microfinance in the New York University community, and connect with leading experts and practitioners in the field. For more information, please visit

For more information about the International Public Service Association at NYU's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, please visit

Appetizers and light refreshments will be served.

Space is limited, please RSVP to  confirm your attendance.