the friend online
03 April 2009

Microcredit in Ghana - preview

Jennifer Kavanagh and Isebail Mackinnon went to Ghana to start a microcredit scheme for the villagers of Gyetiase. Here’s how they did it

When we arrived in Ashanti, we were told that microcredit had been tried and it hadn’t worked
  • In South Africa, even the regulating body said that they were astonished at our programme – they had never heard of anything like it
  • This shows how little people understand of the term, and how much it has been distorted: from loans given on an ad hoc basis with little expectation of repayment to highly structured loans of thousands of pounds for small businesses
  • Concentrating on complete sustainability has pushed many projects away from the original target of the poorest of the poor
  • But, despite its unattractive name, microcredit is not primarily about money but about trust and community
  • Small loans, yes, but a process in which women encourage each other’s innate skills to improve their living standards
  • The women on our programme gave it the name of Yen Daakye (‘Our Future’)

  • Jennifer Kavanagh and Isebail Mackinnon

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