28 September, 2010
Mbarara Epicentre has become the sixth Rural Bank in Uganda – and the 21st in Africa – to gain official government recognition.
Rural Bank recognition is the ultimate objective of The Hunger Project’s Microfinance Programme, which operates in eight countries in Africa. Once the epicentre facility gains recognition to operate as a licensed Rural Bank, it can provide the entire epicentre community with sustainable access to savings and credit.
The bank at Mbarara Epicentre has over 500 members, 80 percent of whom are women, a loan portfolio of approximately $16,800 and nearly $80,000 cash in the bank. Having received almost $60,000 in seed capital from The Hunger Project, these impressive amounts reflect strong financial management of resources. In addition, the bank has mobilised over $14,000 in savings and roughly $5,000 in member shares.
A qualified Bank Manager, with a university degree in Business Administration and Accounting, has begun her official duties and a Board of Directors, comprised of seven women who received training on their roles and responsibilities, was elected and has developed a budget and work plan for the remaining months of 2010.
The official ceremony to launch the bank is planned for next quarter, as part of a large gathering that will allow The Hunger Project-Uganda and partners to promote and publicise their achievements in an impressive way.