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Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Awards Advanced Masters in Microfinance

On Monday, 18 October 2010, Mr. Muhammad Yunus - Nobel Peace Prize laureate of 2006, founder of Grameen Bank and microfinance pioneer - awarded degrees for the Advanced Masters in Microfinance to nearly thirty students who participated in this unique training in Belgium before being conferred the title of Doctor Honoris Causa of the University of Mons and giving a lecture at the Royal Theatre of Mons held in collaboration with the SRIW.

This programme is organized jointly by members of the Brussels Alliance for Research and Higher Education [UMONS, the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Université Paris-Dauphine (France) and the University of Wageningen (Netherlands).

This one-year Master programme (60 credits), given in English, aims at training highly qualified professionals in the field of microfinance. Since its creation, a hundred students have graduated.

The University of Mons (UMONS) has turned to microfinance as soon as 1992, when the first doctoral thesis was held on this theme, with the aim to identify the conditions under which microfinance institutions could become sustainable.

Benefiting from a certain recognition, this research emerged in several international partnerships, which incited researchers of the UMONS to co-operate at the same time with the MFI (institutions of microfinance) and with various international organizations such as the Inter-American Development Bank or the World Bank.

This gave rise to a series of co-operations throughout the world, and in particular in the Democratic republic of Congo (RDC), Burundi, Benin, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Morocco, Madagascar, Indonesia, Peru, Colombia or Bolivia, to quote just a few noteworthy names. (RDC)

With the opening of the academic year 2007-2008, within the framework of the University Academy Wallonia-Brussels, the UMONS joined Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Université Paris-Dauphine (France) and Université de Wageningen (Netherlands) in the organization of the Joint Postgraduate master degree in Microfinance (European Microfinance Programme - EMP).

Muhammad Yunus was born on June 28th, 1940 in Chittagong, a district then located in India and since, located in Bangladesh. He is economist and manager. He is the founder of the first microcredit institution, the Grameen Bank, which owed him the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. He is called the banker of the poor.

More infos on the Advanced master's degree in Microfinance via this link.