Sierra Leone - Rural Finance and Community Improvement Programme (RFCIP) - June 2022
Mamia Mbinty Kamara - The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) established the Rural Finance and Community Improvement Programme (RFCIP) in 2008 to help ensure that rural communities have access to the financial services they need. The programme now boasts of 76 Rural Financial Institutions (RFIs) located in rural towns and villages across the country.
Mamie is 45 years-old and has one daughter in university studying food technology and nutrition. She is a strong advocate for rural financial services and is a testimony to how rural people can thrive when they have access to credit. “You can’t start a business from nothing. You start with a small base, and then you build.” Starting with petty trade and building from one loan to the next, Mamie has built a network of small businesses – a general merchandise shop, a cosmetics and beauty care shop, a print and copy shop, a warehouse selling construction supplies – and has plans to renovate her shops and start a restaurant with the money she will take from her next loan. Mamie almost lost everything during the Ebola crisis. But, the bank gave her a second chance – and Mamie has never looked back. She is even the proud owner of two automobiles.
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