To contribute effectively to the financing of microfinance projects at the grassroots level , the CBOS on Wednesday signed microfinance contracts with 15 microfinance institutions from the first installment with percentage of %50 of the loan of the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD) of a total $ 50 million used mostly for funding microfinance projects of productive , agricultural , industrial , and craft type , as well as a little number of projects in service and trade Sectors . This loan will be used in the rural projects that contribute to combat poverty among the economically active poor classes according to the agreement of the loan’s use between CBOS and the donors .The first phase will fund small and micro projects through 4 microfinance institutions providing funds for customers in the localities of Khartoum State and other (11) state institutions that providing finance for microfinance customers in most of the other States of the Sudan including (Sinnar , North and South Kordofan , White Nile, River Nile , Gezira , and East and South Darfur) .
Focusing funds on the rural areas
According to the drafted plans , funding will focus on rural areas in the traditional agricultural sector, the food industry , craft and horticultural projects , rural women’s projects , irrigated projects products , gum Arabic , vegetables and fruits , small industrial projects , poultry , fish and cattle fattening , cattle and sheep farming , drying onions , and low voltage electricity networks.
32 funding institutions do not accept deposits
Following the signing of the agreements, Prof. Badr Al-Din Abdel Rahim, head of microfinance unit at the CBOS , confirmed that the recipient institutions were selected carefully according to the standards and indicators that take into account the performance of the institutions as well as the benefit of the microfinance recipients in all States of the Sudan , noting that there are 32 microfinance institutions working in various States do not accept deposits whereof making such funding as a means for access to the poorest active classes in the rural areas through these existing institutions . For his part, Al-Taher Artoali, head of the partnerships division in microfinance unit says that the loan would be a big impulse for microfinance in the rural areas and States. It will mobilize microfinance institutions that will provide small loans to the targeted recipients of microfinance of the projects identified by the loans signed between the two sides, he said that presently the applications submitted to the other institutions for the second lot were being reviewed, and this is a call to all intermediate institutions providing microfinance services to benefit from the loan.
The experience of the Agricultural Bank in funding junior farmers
For his part, Abdel – Rahim Hassan, Governor of the CBOS pointed out to the experience of Agricultural Bank to fund junior farmers since establishment in 1959, many farmers had benefited from it , as well as Faisal Islamic Bank and Commercial Bank in funding junior artisans in the year 2006 . The governor of CBOS says that CBOS has allocated %12 of banks ceilings for microfinance, and then established the Supreme Council for Microfinance (SCM) , chaired by the Vice President , adding that CBOS has qualified staff in the area of microfinance , he also confirmed that they will give opportunities of training for the microfinance institutions , he said ; we focus on whole guarantee , we work to create an institution for whole guarantee , aims at social development to convey microfinance to the community , and we strive to complete the %12 in the banks because the banks have not yet completed this percentage .
Call for repayment follow-up mechanism
Prof. Mohamed Zane at Al-Nilain University expressed hoped the working microfinance institutions to benefit from these loans, and invest the amounts in microfinance projects. Prof. Mohamed Zane calls for producing certain goods and increasing services to be added to the economical activity, he confirmed that there are prosperous projects in the area of microfinance which supported the strategy of combating poverty, he referred any failure in microfinance projects to inefficiency of performance, he stressed the importance of making feasibility studies for the projects. He underscores the problem of product marketing as a major problem faces microfinance.
SOURCE: Sudan Vision
Apr 23, 2010 26
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