9.3 Micro-finance institutions (MFIs): Support for Growth-oriented Women Entrepreneurs in Tanzania, 2005

Micro-finance operators in Tanzania function within the framework of the

Government’s National Micro Finance Policy of 2000. The objectives of this policy are

to provide the basis for the evolution of an efficient and effective micro-finance system

to serve the low segment of society and contribute to economic growth and poverty

reduction (as described in MIT, 2002). The policy establishes a framework within which

micro-finance operators will develop, lays out the principles to guide operations of the

system, defines roles and responsibilities of actors, and provides guidelines for

coordinating mechanisms. The Central Bank was given the mandate to coordinate

implementation of the policy. It is interesting to note that the Micro Finance Policy

includes “gender equity” as a best practice.

Access to financial services should be available to both men and women. In order to achieve

gender equity in the delivery of services, it may be necessary to make special efforts to

incorporate features that make the services accessible to all. (National Micro Finance Policy,

2000, pp. 11-13).

There are a number of micro-finance operators in the country (the major ones are

highlighted in Table 6) and, although a number of key informants stated the view that

micro-financing is plentiful, most MFIs operate in urban areas with relatively welldeveloped

infrastructure, thereby denying access to rural MSEs and those in backward

regions (UDEC, 2002). Key informants reported that micro-credit operators had recently

formed the Tanzania Association of Micro-Finance Institutions (TAMFI), with support

from the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA). At this point, however,

there is no collective data on micro-finance clients, no evidence of systemic performance

evaluations of the micro-finance industry, and a great need for sharing of good practices

in managing micro loan funds.

Author:.

As the world's only tripartite multilateral agency, the ILO is dedicated to bringing decent work and livelihoods, job-related security and better living standards to the people of both poor and rich countries. It helps to attain those goals by promoting rights at work, encouraging opportunities for decent employment, enhancing social protection and strengthening dialogue on work-related issues. The ILO is the international meeting place for the world of work. We are the experts on work and e...

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