Uganda: ABI Trust aids Masaka microfinance
By Alon Mwesigwa, The Observer
The Agribusiness Initiative (aBi) Trust has partnered with Masaka Microfinance Development Cooperative Ltd (MAMEDICOT) to take financial services to Bukunda trading centre in Rakai district. Vice President Edward Ssekandi recently opened MAMEDICOT’s branch at the trading centre. He encouraged the residents to embrace the culture of saving and using loans to increase production.
The Bukunda branch comes after aBi Trust approved a grant of Shs 149m to help MAMEDICOT deepen its services, with Shs 67m going towards expenditure on physical assets.
“This [support] is geared at enhancing the spread of financial services to increase rural savings capacity,” aBi Trust explained in a press statement. The aBi Trust, founded in 2007, is supported by various donors, including Denmark, Belgium, Sweden, EU and USAID.
According to Joseph Zabasajja, the MAMEDICOT chief executive officer, the partnership with aBi Trust has helped the 12-year-old organisation expand to an under-served area with great potential to combine its agriculture with entrepreneurship.
“Our drive is to support agriculturalists; we give them loans at just 2% interest a month and 24% interest per annum. We hope the new branch helps us advance this cause,” Zabasajja told The Observer last week.
MAMEDICOT’s loans range from Shs 100,000 to Shs 20m; they also include non-agricultural loans like school fees, commercial and solar loans. These, however, carry interest rates of 2.5% per month and 30% annually.