OPPORTUNITY INTERNATIONAL (United Kingdom) recently held its annual stakeholders' meeting in Accra on “Economic Empowerment of Women in Ghana and Democratic Republic of Congo through rural financing” supported by UK Aid Match.
The maiden meeting was attended by all the project stakeholders, including Opportunity International UK, Sinapi Aba Savings and Loans (SASL), Vision Fund – Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Esoko, Participatory Development Associates (PDA), Warehousing Consultants and Opportunity International Savings and Loans (OISL).
The overall objective of 'The Economic Empowerment of Women Project' is to help increase the participation and empowerment of 12,000 women in the rural economies of Ghana and the DRC in order to improve productivity, build assets and increase household income.
Chief Executive Officer of Opportunity International Savings and Loans, Kwame Owusu-Boateng, in his opening remarks commended the stakeholders for exceeding all the targets set for the first year of the project.
He said “institutions that stood the test of time are those who are client centric and also by empowering women, we will help to create a lasting impact in our society.”
So far, over 5,032 female smallholder farmers and agricultural business owners in Ghana and DRC representing 42% of the total target of 12,000 have been served with loans, savings, and training with total loan disbursement of over £700,000 to support their agri- businesses.
The impact of 'The Economic Empowerment of Women' are already being seen as one client's daughter, Mahama Nimaku, indicated “before getting this loan my mother was always torn between giving me my school fees and buying quality seeds and fertiliser.”
It is expected that, at the end of the three year period, 32,000 family members will also benefit from better nutrition, health and education; 50,000 to benefit from a community-wide financial literacy and gender campaign and 10,000 jobs will be created.
Opportunity International is one of the world's leading microfinance organisations. It provides access to financial services (savings, small business loans, insurance and training) to more than eight million people in more than 20 countries across the globe.