Rural women in remote areas of Kumbungu District of the Northern Region have been taught the need to cultivate a savings culture to expand their business activities.
The women, who are involved in subsistence farming, sheabutter production and trading in the market among other things, contribute GH¢1 every week and kept in a box under key.
Every year, any of the women who wants a loan from the coffers will have access to it on condition that she has not defaulted in contribution.
At Mbanayili in the district, those women who qualified for the loan were served with an interest of 10% which will be ploughed back in their savings.
The focal person of Village Savings and Loans Association, a local NGO, Muhammed Hardi Alhassan, said the women spend whatever they earn from their trade and there was the need to mobilize them and inculcate in them the need to learn how to save some of their incomes in order to have substantial amount of money to expand their businesses.
He said women are vulnerable “and they support their domestic expenditure and some of them pay school fees of their children”.
Mr. Alhassan stated that about 360 women from six communities are patronizing the “local saving system”.
The focal person said his outfit and USAID provide the saving box and the register and also taught them book-keeping.
He said the earnings from the contribution in 2015 was GH¢85,000 and increased to GH¢33,702 in 2016.
A beneficiary of the loan, Miss Zuwaida Yakubu, said she dropped out of school due to financial difficulties and was of the opinion that if the system had existed earlier she would have taken part to continue her education.
She said she is now into trading and had taken two loans at different times to expand her business.
An Assistant Director of the District, Kamal Baba, advised the women to invest part of the income in the education of their children “so that they will not drop out of school”.
He pleaded with their spouses to support the women “and not waste their investment”.
By Zakaria Abdul-Kadiri|3news.com|Kumbugu, Northern Region|Ghana