- Mali has received a US$25.04 million loan from IFAD to fund an innovative programme to build on the strengths and successes of existing rural microfinance networks to help them expand their reach and ensure their sustainability over time.
The Rural Microfinance Programme will support three networks created during the implementation of IFAD-supported projects, which have now grown to comprise some 94 credit unions. It will also help restructure the networks where needed and identify new products to meet the needs of poor rural people, in particular women and young people.
The loan agreement for the programme was signed in Rome on recently by Gaoussou Drabo, the Ambassador of Mali to Italy, and Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of IFAD.
The principal objective of the programme is to provide poor rural people with easier and sustainable access to tailored financial services and to build the capacity of the rural microfinance networks to achieve sustainability.
The programme is expected to benefit rural households needing credit, producers’ organizations seeking to ensure services to their members, and woman and young people who need to finance income-generating activities.
Innovative features of the programme include linking microfinance institutions to Mali’s banking system and promoting a move from non-paid to professional staff at these institutions.
To date, IFAD has funded 11 projects in Mali for a total investment of around $154 million.
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