Friday, April 13, 2012

Rural Finance Project bolsters microfinance institutions

Rural Finance Project recently enhanced the operations, efficiency and effectiveness of some microfinance institutions by providing them with motorbikes and management information system equipment worth more than two million eight hundred and thirty-eight thousand six hundred and thirty-seven dalasi (D2,838,637).

The beneficiaries, the National Associations of Cooperative Credit Unions (NACCUG), the Gambia Women’s Finance Association (GAWFA) and some other microfinance institutions, were handed the materials at a ceremony held on 30 March at the Rural Finance Project offices located at Cape Point in Bakau.

The donated items included 13 motorbikes, 38 solar panels, computers and computer-accessories.

Speaking on the occasion, Madam Ada Gaye, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, said the donation is as a result of lack of transparent and reliable information within the framework of the Rural Finance Project monitoring and evaluation activities.

“Provision of information facilities to collect first-hand data and establish a network of focal points will offer easy-access to updated and reliable information that will encourage and promote a new collaborative sharing of information for consultation and planned activities of the RFP,” said PS Gaye.

The donation is a strategy for promoting economic growth and reducing poverty by building and strengthening private enterprises and membership organisations. 

PS Gaye pointed out that the management information systems will provide real time information on Micro-Finance Institutions (MFIs) operations and performance indicators.

The systems will not only provide timely information for evidence-based decision-making but also improve the quality of work on the ground as accurately as possible.

For the motorbikes, the Agric PS says it will specifically help to address the constraints on loan recovery, which hinders the operations of most MFIs, particularly VISACAs, leading to their closure due to high rate of loan default.

This is as a result of long distance and limited follow-ups on clients owing the MFIs, Madam Gaye said. “But with the motorbikes, the works of the implementing agencies will now become easier for them to be mobile and follow-up loans that are due for payment.”

For his part, Lamin Fatajo, coordinator of the Rural Finance Project, said the donated items will help the beneficiary microfinance institutions to recover loans in their respective places of operations, while urging them to make good use of the items.

Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Dr Oley Njie-Mbye, chief executive officer of Gawfa, thanked the RFP, saying the donated equipment will cushion their workload.


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