Opportunity International will be hosting a conference on microfinance Thursday through Saturday at the Crystal Gateway Marriot in Arlington.

The event will feature Sheryl WuDunn, the co-author of “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide;” Roger Thurow, a former Wall Street Journal reporter; Claudia J. Kennedy, retired U.S. army general and Dale Hanson Bourke, President of the Center for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia.

The conference will include keynote presentations and breakout sessions discussing the role that savings-based microfinance plays in eradicating poverty.

There will also be a discussion on how to help smallholder farmers in Africa become more productive and make their operations more sustainable. Another theme of the conference is providing support for millions of women entrepreneurs worldwide.

The conference begins at 7 p.m. on Thursday, runs 8 a.m.-9:15 p.m. on Friday and 8 a.m.-noon on Saturday.

Young professionals and Mason students can get a special ticket rate of $75 by visiting www.opportunity.org.