MICROFINANCE Institutions play an effective role in poverty alleviation, social empowerment and economic development within the broader context of financial inclusion.
The assertion was made by Bank of Tanzania (BoT) Deputy Governor, Financial Stability and Deepening, Dr Bernard Kibesse, in an event where 18 winners of the 3rd Citi Micro-entrepreneurship Awards (CMA) in Tanzania and collectively pocket 37,500 US dollars (some 86.3m/-).
The deputy governor declared that the awards funded by Citi Foundation and managed by the Association of Microfinance Institutions in Tanzania (TAMFI) provided an appropriate platform to celebrate extraordinary entrepreneurs in Tanzania.
Dr Kibesse noted that microfinance industry played a larger role in deepening the financial markets, expanding access to affordable and appropriate financial services and products to MSMEs and low-income households.
Citibank Tanzania CEO Mr Joseph Carasso said that the awards were in recognition of the fact that micro-entrepreneurship is a major contributor to economic growth in the country through job creation in service and industry economic sectors.
"Through the Micro-entrepreneurs, we are reassured that micro-entrepreneurship is a viable option for every entrepreneurial Tanzanian. "Citi is therefore proud to contribute to the development of micro-entrepreneurship and ultimately better livelihoods for the community where we live and work," he said.
TAMFI Vice Chairman, Mr Altemius Millinga who is also the Managing Director of Yetu Microfinance Bank Plc, appreciated BoT for its recognition of entrepreneurs and the partnership between the Citibank and TAMFI, as being a catalyst of encouraging entrepreneurship development.
Mr Millinga promised that Tamfi will continue to work closely with BOT to ensure policy and business environment for microfinance institutions favours perpetuation of entrepreneurship development for the general good of mother Tanzania.
An innovative Morogoro based palm oil processor, who also owns a "power plant" and recycles waste from his operations into charcoal, Mr Farouq Hassan Khalifa won the topmost prize(Citi Micro-entrepreneur of The Year Award)taking home 7,500 US dollars (17.25m/-). Sido- small Industries Development Organization gave him his first loan of 500,000/-