The Microfinance Support Centre (MSC) has met district leaders and members of the business community in Teso, in a deliberate effort to increase demand for micro-credit in an area that suffers development challenges.
The engagement, which took place at Akello hotel in Soroti, attracted 200 participants who blamed low uptake of micro-credit in the sub-region on past experiences, illiteracy and high levels of poverty.
The Centre’s Spokesperson, Belinda Atim, revealed that out of Shs 317b that MSC disbursed countrywide, only shs 5.8b had gone to Teso sub-region, despite the great potential for investment opportunities. She said MSC was charged with managing micro-credit funds and offering technical assistance on behalf of government, and urged the district leaders to use their various platforms to promote the initiative.
“Since the 1980’s, government has developed microfinance programs aimed at increasing household incomes and improving the living standards of the people. However, many of the programs were bogged down by some leaders who did not use their platforms effectively to promote them,” she said.
She urged the leaders to invite MSC for joint sensitization talks, not only to promote micro-credit but to offer financial and corporate governance training, especially to groups and saccos, which are prone to mismanagement and collapse for lack of required skills.
The leaders welcomed the initiative to engage with stakeholders and pledged their support. The District Police Commander for Soroti encouraged MSC to work closely with police to profile clients for efficient location of defaulters and defrauders who have a habit of escaping the arm of the law.