September 20, 2013
The Zimbabwe Micro-finance Wholesale Facility has disbursed loans worth at least US$2,5 million to micro-finance institutions for on-lending to small businesses and economically active poor since last year.The facility is an apex fund set up to provide wholesale funding to individuals and businesses. It aims to reduce poverty and create employment by increasing access to financial services for women and poor people, while fostering sustainability.
It is supported by various development partners including Hivos of the Netherlands, the UK Department for International Development and German Agency for International Co-operation.
ZMWF Trust chairperson Dr Leonard Tsumba told participants at a
stakeholder meeting that at least 11 MFIs had benefited from the fund so
“Since operations began in January 2012, loans worth US$2 469 100 have been approved. About 66 percent of the end beneficiaries of those funds are women. This is clearly in line with the ZMWF goal of reaching out to the economically active poor, especially women” he said.
Dr Tsumba, however, said there was need to strengthen the financial and technical capacity of MFIs in the country to effectively serve their target market. He said it was also crucial that MFIs spread their services to marginalised areas of the country.
“I urge our MFIs to take advantage of the wholesale facility, which is meant to assist you, in your efforts to offer inclusive financial services to the economically active members of our society,” he said.
The ZMFW has four lending windows namely rescue capital, stabilisation capital, as well as growth and innovation capital loans which eligible registered MFIs can borrow.
Apart from loan capital, the fund has small grants to build the capacity and expertise of MFIs in credit management, operational and financial management skills. Other non-financial services that the fund offers include women empowerment as well as gender and HIV and Aids programmes aimed at alleviating poverty. – New Ziana.