UN local finance 96.5bn/- credits reach 2.8m people 

28Sep 2020
Francis Kajubi
The Guardian
UN local finance 96.5bn/- credits reach 2.8m people 

​​​​​​​DISBURSEMENTS from the Local Finance Initiative (LFI) programme, a franchise of the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) have so far reached 2.8m Tanzanians, obtaining seed capital and technical assistance.

Peter Malika, the head of UNCDF (T) and LFI country manager said on Friday that the programme covered a number of projects relating to clean energy, women empowerment, building agricultural value chains and food security. The loans were disbursed during the past three years on the basis of a $42m (96.57bn/-) investment.

LFT took up about 32 projects, 17 hosted by local government authorities and 15 hosted by non-government organizations, running from January 2017 to December 2019 and also absorbing ventures in public service delivery infrastructure.

“During the period 32 projects were successfully implemented with UNCDF seed capital and technical assistance to all beneficiaries, where 15 per cent of the funding went to seed capital and the larger portion financed access to technical assistance,” he said, unveiling a report on the programme.

The beneficiaries were grouped into 1.5m women and 1.3m men, taking up over 5,700 households that got connected to electricity; 1.3m smallholder farmers accessed technical assistance to access markets. Residents in 17 districts also benefited from improved commuter buses infrastructure.

UNCDF work on local development finance seeks to spread benefits of economic growth to people in all regions and locations, by solving localised development challenges in peri-urban areas and remote rural locations.

“To rise to the challenges of our time, we are working with private and public sectors to rebuild local value chains and industries so that value from the factors of production is retained in the local economy,” the manager explained.

Using the LFI facility, UNCDF provided technical assistance  and seed capital grants of $1.3m to 15 income generating projects whose value totals $2.5m in storage/crop aggregation centers, cross border markets, fish processing and preservation, plus agro-processing at Muhange village in Kigoma region. 

 UNCDF supported women economic empowerment and mainstreaming of gender equality in projects, developing financially sustainable projects with appropriate governance structures as part of project development, he said.

Those coming under this objective include Agricultural Marketing Co-operative Societies (AMCOS) and special purpose vehicles used by local government actors and small and medium enterprises in the region. They were used in reaching villagers to help them develop income generating projects for uptake by the local finance initiative.

“Following the investment of $120,000 as seed capital grants to build the main shed of the cross-border market at Muhange village in Kigoma, the project has raised over $300,000 from public and private sector units being invested around the market area;

There are long term plans to upgrade an existing gravel to tarmac road at a cost of $6m,” he stated.

The new Muhange cross-border market supports around 150 youth and women allotted regular trading stalls, thus contributing to increased security and household income.

The market has attracted other public delivery organizations like Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), the Police Gender Desk as well as the Immigration Department, the manager added.

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