5 March 2019

Eritrea: Micro Credit and Saving Opportunities Improving Lives

Barentu — Saving and Micro-credit opportunities are playing significant role in improving lives of nationals. The comment was made during a meeting conducted recently in Barnetu city.

At the meeting in which administrators and regional representatives of saving and microcredit program and stakeholders took part, discussion was held on the reports presented regarding the activities of the program, amount of money distributed, the number and quality of beneficiaries, challenges encountered in refunding micro-credits, among others.

The report indicated that the meeting assessed that one of the major challenges clients face in the process is the difficulty in refunding loans, and reached an agreement that integrated effort will be conducted in finding solutions.

Pointing out that around 300 million Nakfa has been distributed to 72 thousand beneficiaries nationwide, the report further indicated that 35 thousand of the beneficiaries are found in Gash Barka region.

Speaking at the meeting, Mr. Tafla Asmerom, acting managing director of the Savings and Microcredit Programs, pointed out that the program in its 23 years has been exerting effort to widen and strengthen its geographic scope and financial capacities, indicated that in 2018 alone it has distributed over 155 million Nakfa and the number of village banks has increased from 664 to 702, and over 54% of the micro-credit opportunities was provided to agricultural activities. However, only 118 million Nakfa has been refunded, Mr. Tafla added.

Speaking at the meeting, Mr. Fessehaye Haile, Governor of Gash Barka region, pointing out that the Saving and Microcredit Program is an institution established to support nationals improve their lives and indicated that delay in return of loans negatively impacts the institution and beneficiaries and called for a priority to be given in nurturing a culture of timely return of loans.

Eritrea

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