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Village Banks said to be engine for economic growth-SMEDI

Written by  Alex Mwangosi

The Small and Medium Enterprise Development Institute-SMEDI has described the Village Savings and Loans Concept as a potential tool to spur the country`s economy.


SMEDI Regional Manager for the North  Denis  Msakwiza  was  speaking  in the area of Traditional Authority  Kilupula in  Karonga  district  when  he  closed  a two week training session for 15 Village Bank group with financial assistance from FDH Bank. 


Msakwiza said groupings (Village Saving and Loans) assist people to alleviate poverty especially among women in the country.


“These  groups  has  a large membership  of  women  so  they  assist  in  poverty  alleviation  especially  in  the  rural  areas,” said  Msakwiza.

Turning  to  the  training,  the SMEDI Boss in  the  North said they  covered  a lot  of  topics ranging from business management  to VSL Group management.


“We have taught them business management, i.e. researching for business opportunity, how to  do business ……and  also  group  organization i.e. saving money in  banks,  how  to  share  including  making a constitution,” explained Msakwiza.    

Maureen  Nalikungwi  of  FDH  Bank  said  the  bank  came  in  to  assist  in capacity building  in inculcating  the  saving culture among Malawians.


As a  Malawian  bank  FDH  decided to  assist  in  funding  the  training  after  receiving a  request  for  the  need to  build  capacity to  members  of  the  VSL  groups,” said Nalikungwi who is  branch  Manager for FDH Bank at  City  Centre in  Lilongwe.

Maureen also  added  that  it  was  the  hope  of  the  bank  to  see  that  the  groups  grow  after  attaining  the  training. 


“We  want  these  bank  to  be  saving with  our  bank  for  the  safety  of  their money  so  that  they  grow  from  their  investments,” said  Maureen Nalikungwi.

Representing  Traditional  Authority  Kilupula  was  Gibson  Kawonga  who  thanked  FDH  and  SMEDI  for  the  training  which  he  said  will  assist  to  alleviate poverty  among  people  in  his  area.


“As  Traditional Leader,   I  should  thank  FDH  Bank  and  SMEDI  for  training  my  people  in  financial management  in  the  VSL  groups.  The  training  has helped  group  members to manage their village banks,” said  Kawonga who is also TA  Kilupula`s  Counselor.


He  however  asked SMEDI  and  FDH  Bank to  extend  the  training  sessions  to  the  rest  of  the  area  saying  most  groups  lack  skills  in  managing  their  groups.


One  of  the  Participants in the  training  Alinuswe Kauchepe Mwatwabana  said  the  training  has  equipped  them  with  skills  in  business  management  including  VSL group organization.

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