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04.04.2007 Business & Finance

Micro finance centre aids PWDs, Borstal inmates, convicts

By The Chronicle

People with Disability (PWDs) and inmates of Borstal homes as well as convicts have been provided for under a special scheme developed by the micro-finance and small loans centre (MASLOC) this year.

MASLOC has allocated ¢5.7 billion to cater for PWDs in particular while another ¢3 billion has been budgeted for Borstal inmates and convicts to help those who have acquired vocational training to be assisted with credit upon discharge.

This is also to enable them settle properly in society after serving their sentences and a way of using micro-finance and small loans as tools for job and wealth creation under the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy I & II.

The Chief Executive Officer of MASLOC, Dr. J.K Agyekumhene at a media dialogue on “providing credit to the MSE sector – role of MASLOC”, recently noted that poverty was pandemic in Africa, and could only be reduced by the removal of its root causes, residing in all forms of socio-economic deprivation.

According to him, this could be achieved through close knowledge of the nature of the poverty situation, providing correct prescription and searching for appropriate solution to it, saying, “it has never been easy to conceptualize or quantify poverty by definition except in broad macroeconomic terms but, objectively, not at the micro level.”

He said it was for this reason that MASLOC has a role to enhance, promote and as well facilitate the establishment of sustainable financial services to the poor and vulnerable.

Dr. Agyekumhene stated that MASLOC was targeted at the micro enterprises operated by the productive poor, unemployed, small scale farmers, fishermen, fishmongers, petty traders, craftsmen, mechanics, artisans and youngsters with vocations such as dressmaking.

“It is meant to nurture and strengthen them into medium enterprises where they can be linked to the bank”, expressing that “in the process, it is envisaged that the banks may develop confidence in them and eventually deal with them directly.”

He said the battle against poverty was a mandatory challenge to all, hence, “it requires the absolute determination and commitment of all citizenry.” “We should not fail them”, he stressed.