Essma Ben Hamida
Director, Enda Inter-Arabe
Essma Ben Hamida is director of Enda Inter-Arabe (Enda), which she cofounded in 1990. In 1995, Enda launched the first microcredit institution in Tunisia, which today reaches around 115,000 active clients, mainly women, in the poor areas of Tunisia. She is one of the founding members of Sanabel, Microfinance Network of Arab Countries and was elected twice to Sanabel’s Board (2002 – 2008) and as chairperson from December 2005 to May 2008. She has worked as a consultant for various UN agencies and is a certified CGAP/Sanabel trainer. Prior to ENDA, Essma worked as a secondary school teacher and as a TV journalist/reporter. She opened the first bureau of the national press agency, TAP, in New York at the United Nations. From 1981 to 1989 she worked with the International Foundation for Development Alternatives (IFDA) and with the Third World Press agency, InterPress Service, in Rome and Geneva. During this time, she visited Palestinian people living in the Occupied Territories and wrote a series of articles on their conditions; Third World Network published the latter in booklet form under the title, “Behind the Palestinian Uprising”, in English, Chinese and Malay. Essma Ben Hamida earned degrees in history, geography and completed one post-graduate year in urban planning.