By Beng Humphrey Fang
Unimpressed by the low level of participation by youths, women and the physically challenged people in most communities nationwide, the United Nations Development Program, UNDP, has signed a partnership agreement with three micro finance institutions in Cameroon. Signed at the Yaoundé Hilton Hotel on Wednesday, September 18, 2019, the agreement seeks to promote financial inclusion among the participating financial institutions that include The Savana Islamic S.A based in Ngaoundere, Credit du Sahel based in Maroua, Microfinance de Development.
The three financial intuitions involved in the agreement, according to the representative of the Minister of Finance, have exhibited a lot of actions in the domain of financial inclusion. Speaking to the press after the signing ceremony, the Minister of Finance’s representative explained that the objective of the convention between the UNDP and the three micro financial institutions in Cameroon is financial inclusion. He went forth, that by financial inclusion, “we refer to low level of banking culture in our sub region which is below twenty percent.”
The next issue concerning financial inclusion most specifically, he added, is about social groups and young people that are vulnerable like women, handicapped people who do not have access to financial services. Going by the minister’s representative, the UNDP is coming in to give the micro finance institutions support in the line of making credit for them to dish out loans to women and vulnerable people.
Speaking at the event, the resident representative of the UNDP in Cameroon, Jean Luc Stalon thanked the Cameroon government for organizing the signing occasion for the memorandum of understanding between the said financial enterprises and the UNDP which he hoped will help them provide facilities for financial inclusion of the vulnerable population. According to Stalon, the three financial institutions, as a result of the agreement have received some funds that will enable them have some guarantee to lend small loans to the vulnerable population. In Cameroon, the UNDP Resident said only 37 percent of the population has this opportunity and out of this about 15 still have no access to financial inclusion, formal or informal.
“All in all, this is a pilot project to help the most vulnerable populations have access to small loans to improve their livelihoods and reduce poverty,” Jean luc Stalon, concluded.