Islamabad  - Pakistan Microfinance Investment Company (PMIC) and Center of Economic Research in Pakistan (CERP) jointly organized a roundtable in Islamabad with the aim to bring together key stakeholders to share experiences and jointly articulate the way forward to meet the potential demand for education financing in the country.

The roundtable discussion was attended by key stakeholders including microfinance institutions, microfinance banks, commercial banks, development agencies among others.

In the keynote address, Mr. Waqas ul Hasan, Senior Private Sector Development Adviser DFID reiterated DFID’s commitment to promote access to finance for low cost private schools in the country whilst focusing on the objective to enhance quality of education for the underserved segments of the population. This was further reaffirmed by Mr. Yasir Ashfaq, CEO PMIC; as the wholesale institution and sector developer for microfinance in the country, PMIC is focused on provision of education financing in the country supplemented by non-financial services targeted to improve the quality of education and teaching methods.

Professor Asim Khwaja of CERP emphasized on the need for adequate research to support the growth in education financing sector in the country. A common understanding was reached among the stakeholders to further explore the needs of the low cost private school segment and start investing in education financing.

Discussions during the roundtable centered on the action steps required to reach scale and to make formidable headways.

The discussion concluded with the participants’ resolve to work in cooperation with each other to enhance education financing through microfinance, create the required impact and to ensure systematic data gathering protocol.

Pakistan Microfinance Investment Company Limited (PMIC) is registered as an Investment Finance Company under NBFCs regulations with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP). It is setup jointly by, Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF), Department for International Development (DFID) through Karandaaz Pakistan and the German Development Bank (KFW) to catalyze and lead the next phase of growth in the microfinance sector of Pakistan. The purpose of the organization is to improve financial inclusion, employment and well-being of the poor by providing wholesale financing to the microfinance service providers in the country.

The Center for Economic Research in Pakistan (CERP) is a non-profit research center and think tank in Pakistan that promotes the use of rigorous quantitative research and actively engages with policy counterparts to answer key questions in public policy. CERP was founded in 2008 by renowned Pakistani economists based at the Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School, University of Chicago, Pomona College and Lahore University of Management Sciences. CERP has now broadened offerings into data analytics, policy advisory, trainings and other products for both the public and the private sector.