Former Senegalese microfinance minister, Mrs. Soukeyna Ndiaye Ba, on Wednesday urged the government to subsidise microfinance institutions to support deprived populations, especially women.
Mrs. Ba, who is the chairperson of Women, Development and Enterprise in Africa (FDEA), said at a conference on microfinance and development in Dakar that microfinance was aimed at enabling the poorest to earn a living in a dignified manner on the basis of human rights and having the right and possibility of accessing food security.
“The capacities and know-how of the deprived populations must be strengthened to enable them to take their own destiny into their hands, to reduce their level of poverty and vulnerability by facilitating access to financial services and to enable the poorest to bring about real changes in their lives,” she said.
Talking about the challenges of microfinance, she said these included low population densities, distances between the populations and micro-finance institutions and the poor state of roads which were sometimes not motorable during the rainy season.
According to her, in order to get a critical number of clients for a microfinance institution, there was the need for sensitization, training of clients and members, systematic monitoring and control of operations and access to many villages countrywide.