Credit company commits 2.5bn/- to small traders

Oikocredit Tanzania last week unveiled its commitment of Sh2.5 billion loans for the country this year.

The announcement was made as the firm welcomed its new managing director, Mr David Woods, who said the commitment was the continuation of the firm’s support to different sectors that impact directly on the people. 

“In Tanzania there are many opportunities in fishing, forest, livestock and others -- all these need support,” said Mr Woods. 

The amount to be injected this year is an addition to the already approved Sh28 billion invested in Tanzania since 2006. Oikocredit, based in Netherlands, operates in more than 70 countries globally.

So far over Sh15 billion has been channelled to small and medium entreprises (SMEs).

Mr Woods said other opportunities were also available in the renewable energy sector, as the country attempts to diversify its energy sources.

He said the government also seeks to light up more homes with electricity from the current 14 per cent to over 30 per cent by 2025.

“We are encouraged by these national strategies and aim to participate in the process,” said Mr Woods.

He said the firm was planning to increase the number of staff in order to increase loans circulation and bring about positive change in people’s lives.

Oikocredit regional director for East Africa Judy Ngarachu said there was the growing interest in the financing of SMEs in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.

“I anticipate we can also work with them through loans, equity and provide training,” said Ms Ngarachu.

In his welcoming remarks to the Oikocredit new managing director, Oikocredit country manager, Mr Deus Manyenye, said Mr Woods would meet potential clients and explore opportunities that need support.

He said, Mr Woods has already flown to Mwanza where he met cotton dealers and farmers in his effort to establish the network and look how to expand partnership.

Oikocredit is among the world’s source of private funding to micro-finance sector and saw its financing portfolio growing to Sh1.1 trillion in 2012 from Sh1.07 trillion in 2011.
Source: The Citizen, reported by Felix Lazaro in Dar es Salaam 

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