FELIX NKINKE, Lusaka
‘WOMEN are key in economic development, and it has been observed that they are the centre of change at household level, and their input, when replicated, contributes to economic growth.
“It is against this background that Government has developed various empowerment programmes for women with passion, foresight and intensive focus to participate in economic growth of the country and in turn support their livelihood.”
These were the remarks made by Minister of Community Development and Social Services Kampamba Chewe when she launched the 9th Cycle of the Government-funded village banking programme held in Kitwe recently, and whose genesis dates back to 2015.
At the launch of the programme, the minister disbursed well over K200,000 to beneficiaries under the Department of Community Development who were drawn from five constituencies in Kitwe. The programme is a loan scheme initiative, meaning that whatever monies are given out, it must be recouped and channelled back to new beneficiaries.
The cycle village banking programme was introduced in 2015, and over the years, thousands of women have been helped by accessing the little loans which have somewhat assisted in alleviating the many economic challenges that women across the country face.
The economic matrix of saving money comes in many forms, with the village banks, which come in form of loans, designed to empower members, including vulnerable members of society, bringing value to household economies, and thousands, if not millions, have benefited.
Most of these village banks emerging at an unprecedented pace in rural, peri-urban and urban areas have proved to improve the livelihood of people and are to a large extent controlled by enterprising women. This could be why Government has focused on organising women village banks, which are now the in-thing.
The origin of village banking can be traced to Muhammad Yunus, a Bangladeshi economist, also widely known as the father of CLICK TO READ MORE
FELIX NKINKE, Lusaka