11 December 2012

Kenya: USAID Helps Launch Sharia Compliant Community Owned Finance Institution

press release

COFI will improve the livelihoods of pastoralists in Northern Kenya

December 10, 2012, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Intercontinental Hotel, Nairobi

Nairobi, 10 December 2012

The United States Embassy invites the media to attend the launch of the Community Owned Finance Institution. Isaac Thendiu, Livestock Development Program Specialist, will represent the U.S. government.

When: Monday, December 10, 2012, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Where: Intercontinental Hotel, Nairobi

Keynote speaker Honorable Mohamed Elmi, Minister for Development of Northern Kenya and Other Arid Lands will address the potential of the Community Owned Finance Institution (COFI) to develop the livestock value chain in Kenya's arid lands and improve incomes for Kenya's pastoralists. He will also perform the official launching of COFI.

Background: COFI is a Sharia-compliant savings and credit cooperative (SACCO) and is the first Sharia compliant SACCO in Kenya. COFI will provide pastoralists with the financial opportunities to build their businesses. Kenya's pastoralist community in the arid lands plays an important role in the nation's economy. Pastoralists contribute to the local economy with meat and milk production. For instance, more than 67% of meat consumed in Kenya comes from ASAL livestock. As devout Muslims, a large number of Kenya's pastoralists have never applied for bank loans to expand their businesses due to their religious beliefs among other reasons. This event is organized by the Kenya Drylands Livestock Development Program, which is funded through USAID. The program is helping pastoralist households in northeast Kenya overcome the many existing obstacles to achieving both economic and food security in the region.

Media interested in attending are requested to contact Robin Johnson to RSVP: Robin Johnson, Development Outreach and Communications Specialist, USAID/Kenya

+254 20 862 2332/+254 (0) 719 112 135/ robinjohnson@usaid.gov

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