Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Rural Finance Project Boost Implementing Agencies

L-R Mr. Fatajo, PS Ada Gaye and Dr. Oley Njie Mbye

As part of Rural Finance Project (RFP) objectives of strengthening Micro Finance Institutions towards creating an enabling microfinance industry, RFP handed over motobikes, and management information system equipments worth D2,838,637 to implementing agencies.
The handing over ceremony was held on Friday 30 March, 2012 at the Rural Finance Project office, Cape Point in Bakau.
The items handed over include 13 motobikes, 38 solar panels, computers and accessories including printers.
The beneficiaries were NACCUG CUs, GAWFA branches and 4 VISACAs as part of RFP 2011 implementation activities

Speaking on-behalf of the Minister of Agriculture, Madam Ada Gaye permanent secretary said the handed over of the items came as a result of RFP response to lack of transparent and reliable information within the framework of the RFP monitoring and evaluation activities.
“Provision of information facilities to collect first hand data and establish a network of focal points will offer easy-access to updated and reliable information that will encourage and promote a new collaborative sharing of information for consultation and planned activities of RFP,” said PS Gaye.
This cooperation framework between the RFP and partners formalising support for the implementing agencies in charge of managing the RFP activities through interface with beneficiaries is timely.
Moreover, this is a strategy for promoting economic growth, reducing poverty by building and strengthening private enterprises and membership organisations, representing them [implementing agencies] to be more responsive to competitive markets that are stronger and more inclusive.
The management information systems, PS Gaye state that would provide real time information on Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) operations and performance indicators.
The equipment, she continued, would not only provide timely information for evidence based decision-making but also improve the quality of work as reflected on the ground as accurately as possible.
The motobikes, Agriculture PS said is to address the loan recovery issues that rendered the operations of most MFIs particularly VISACA less than desired even to closure of some of the VISACAs in the country.
The closure of some of the VISACAs, she went on is as a result of long distance and limited follow ups on clients owning the MFIs adding that with the motobikes, the works of the implementing agencies has now become easy for them to mobile and recover loans.
“These are public capital investments that does yie;d returns in quality of life and social well-being of the rural populance.”
Therefore, it is prudent to state that a positive relationship between RFP and their implementing agencies should be made to be effective in creating or promoting values, she advised.
The partnership relationship, PS said must be an integral part of the management processes, be embedded in the culture and practices of the organisation, be tailored to the business of the organisation and comply with the guiding principles of the RFP .
In her words, these, she alluded includes but not restricted to creating an appropriate organisational innovation including business advisory and support services, finance skills development, business technology and extension services.
The overall aim of the handing over the items to the beneficiaries, she disclosed, is to create more understanding of how rural poor interact with market systems which, she noted can be used to change or improve their livelihoods through a well coordinated value chain and cluster approaches to microfinance.
In concluding her speech, PS Gaye said sustainability is key to all the equipments that are given to the implementing agencies of RFP  2011 activities.
Hear her further: “the long term responsibility to maintan the equipment and the approach to the management of the information largely gained from the implementing process would need to be secured for the sustainability of implementing agencies, beneficiaries and above all RFP.
“Each of you as per project activity has a defined role and responsibility, I therefore call upon you all to abide by in the interest of economic development,” she concluded.
For his part, Mr. Lamin Fatajo Coordinator Rural Finance Project, said that with the handing over of the items, the implementing agencies would be recover loans in their respective places of operations.
He advised the beneficiaries to make good use of the items and use the item for carrying out the implementation of RFP 2011 activities.
Dr. Oley Njie- Mbye chief executive officer GAWFA, speaking onbehalf of the beneficiaries, thanked RFP for providing them (beneficiaries) with motobikes, computers and accessories saying that it has now make their job easy for them.
Mr. Noah Kujabi delivered the vote of thanks and the handing over ceremony was graced by beneficiary institutions.

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