The Zimbabwe Women’s Microfinance Bank (ZWMB) has disbursed $16 million to 46 000 beneficiaries to date, with women receiving the bulk of the money.
ZWMB is the first of its kind in Sadc and offers loans to women, youths and other small-scale business people. The bank seeks to enhance women’s participation in mainstream economy.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa officially commissioned the bank last year.
In a statement to delegates at the recent 18th Zanu-PF National People’s Conference, ZWMB head of marketing and public relations Ms Barbara Muyengwa said the bank has made great strides in funding women’s projects.
“As the Zimbabwe Women Microfinance Bank, we have made footprints. Since we started operating, we have opened over 75 000 new accounts and out of these, 46 000 beneficiaries have received loans,” she said.
“In total we have disbursed loans valued at $16 million.”
Ms Muyengwa said the bank has opened branches in all the country’s ten provinces.
“We are present in all the country’s 10 provinces. Our intention is to be in every village and in every ward,” she said.
Ms Muyengwa said the bulk of women who have received loans from the bank have shown a commendable track record of servicing the loans.
“Women generally have a tendency to pay back loans, compared to men. We are seeing this happening at the bank. So we want to continue giving more loans to women to fund their projects,” she said.
Ms Muyengwa thanked Government for allocating $100 million to the ZWMB in the 2020 National Budget.
Speaking at the launch of the bank last year, President Mnangagwa said establishing the Women’s Bank was consistent with the provisions of the Constitution, which seeks to promote gender mainstreaming and the inclusivity of women.
“What makes the entry of the bank into the financial services market significant and even more exciting is that it is the first of its kind in the Sadc region,” he said.
“Zimbabwe is, therefore, a torchbearer in this regard. While the nation was confronted by a myriad of challenges over the last two decades, the women in Zimbabwe have done exceptionally well.
“Women are the pillars of our families, who at times do various jobs to support and sustain us.
“My Government has made it a priority to ensure that women are supported to participate in mainline economic activities through tailor-made support facilities for their financial inclusion.
“We are fully cognisant of the reality that sustainable economic development can only be achieved through the full participation and collective economic strength of all citizens, including women and the youths,” said the President.