As a compliment to the distant- learning programme which was officially launched last year by the NaCSA Micro finance programme in collaboration with the Njala University College, stake holders of Micro finance institutions in Sierra Leone have recently met to incorporate the module into the curriculum of that college.
Francess Kondor the programme officer of NaCSA Micro finance explained that in March 2008, they met to assess the distant- learning programme to identify successes and challenges to see if they would continue with the programme.
The impact of microfinance in Sierra Leone she stated, is to take banking services to the door step of the people to access funds without collateral which used to be one of the stumbling blocks in major financial institutions in Sierra Leone.
She added that microfinance does not only down play the issue of collateral but also removes institutional inferiority which affects many people throughout the country.
Mrs. Kondor further stated that, more women are targeted because they are vulnerable, reliable and trust worthy.
The ADB she said support Micro finance programme through the social action support project which has two components which include: capacity building through training and technical assistance in favour of micro finance institutions and to coordinate information exchange among the various microfinance institutions.
She said the the 2007 distant learning programme was a pilot project to build the capacity of both Sierra Leoneans and Liberians.
The deputy director of MITAF Mr. Alphonso Campbell touched on some of the inadequacies of micro finance, which include: inadequate funding, expert and poor socio economic infrastructure, especially in the rural areas.
He said the NaCSA Microfinance programme has run a series of micro finance training courses for microfinance managers and programme officers from the various microfinance institutions in basic finance principles, methodology and delinquency control.
The director of planning monitoring and evaluation NaCSA Mr. Akibo Robinson said the main focus of the micro finance programme is to the delivery of improved and sustainable small-scale financial services to the poor through the provision of the appropriate training and technical support to micro finance institutions.
Professor Aliyageen Alghali of Njala University said his institution was ready to enhance the capacity of micro finance practitioners at a higher level to ensure effective and efficient service delivery especially to the rural poor.
By Solomon Rogers