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Microfinance Tool for Poverty Alleviation, Says Rwanda Envoy

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Stanislas Kamanzi
  • Microfinance Tool for Poverty Alleviation, Says Rwanda Envoy

The Rwandan High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ambassador Stanislas Kamanzi, has described micro finance as a potent tool for poverty alleviation and wealth creation.

Kamanzi, who spoke last week at The Bullion Lecture organised by Centre for Financial Journalism in Lagos, believes that micro finance is essential to people-centred development, as it is an important stimulant of the creation of a middle income class that is critical for African economies to substantially take off.

Kamanzi, who was the special guest at the lecture, said it was important for lay people to understand the tenets and mechanisms of micro finance, challenging financial journalists to play a key role in this connection and to build on synergies with the operators in micro finance.

He stated that in the past decade, Rwanda had been able to move more than a million people above the poverty line through a combination of strategic investment meant to uplift livelihoods of identified poor communities and tapping their own capacity to solve their problem, with a minimal push from government. He revealed that micro finance was pivotal in making those strategies work and transform into a success story of poverty reduction.

Giving further insight into how micro finance has helped to lift millions of people out of poverty in his country, Ambassador Kamanzi said this was achieved through a programme termed Vision 2020 Umurenge, abridged as VUP.

He said the programme was created to accelerate the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) at grassroots level, explaining that it combines labour intensive projects providing jobs for active members within communities, while catering social protection for the vulnerable and impotent ones, by way of financial grants for daily subsistence.

He stated that “VUP builds on assessing the fundamental needs of beneficiary communities, mobilising resources, human and financial, to correct development shortfalls”, explaining that “beneficiaries are enrolled in saving schemes, with the objective of promoting the emergence of micro-investment and sustainable self-reliance”.

According to him, VUP implementation was combined with the streamlining of micro finance institutions at local government (Sector entity) level called UMURENGE SACCO, for the promotion of savings and ease of access to credit within rural communities.

Kamanzi added that micro finance also proved to be a problem-solver as far as improving livelihoods of indispensable professionals whose big numbers defy any attempt for significant salary increase, relative to other macro-economic considerations, especially in developing African countries.

He stated that “in Rwanda UmwalimuSACCO was established in 2006 to that end. Its creation was triggered by the need to expand financial services to teachers including in rural areas. The MFI has more than 70,000 members, with very high rural penetration. It has substantively empowered teachers to have easy access to credit to finance projects contributing to the elevation of their well-being”.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Communities in Delta State Shut OML30 Operates by Heritage Energy Operational Services Ltd

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Oil

The OML30 operated by Heritage Energy Operational Services Limited in Delta State has been shut down by the host communities for failing to meet its obligations to the 112 host communities.

The host communities, led by its Management Committee/President Generals, had accused the company of gross indifference and failure in its obligations to the host communities despite several meetings and calls to ensure a peaceful resolution.

The station with a production capacity of 80,000 barrels per day and eight flow stations operates within the Ughelli area of Delta State.

The host communities specifically accused HEOSL of failure to pay the GMOU fund for the last two years despite mediation by the Delta State Government on May 18, 2020.

Also, the host communities accused HEOSL of ‘total stoppage of scholarship award and payment to host communities since 2016’.

The Chairman, Dr Harrison Oboghor and Secretary, Mr Ibuje Joseph that led the OML30 host communities explained to journalists on Monday that the host communities had resolved not to backpedal until all their demands were met.

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Crude Oil Recovers from 4 Percent Decline as Joe Biden Wins

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Oil Prices Recover from 4 Percent Decline as Joe Biden Wins

Crude oil prices rose with other financial markets on Monday following a 4 percent decline on Friday.

This was after Joe Biden, the former Vice-President and now the President-elect won the race to the White House.

Global benchmark oil, Brent crude oil, gained $1.06 or 2.7 percent to $40.51 per barrel on Monday while the U.S West Texas Intermediate crude oil gained $1.07 or 2.9 percent to $38.21 per barrel.

On Friday, Brent crude oil declined by 4 percent as global uncertainty surged amid unclear US election and a series of negative comments from President Trump. However, on Saturday when it became clear that Joe Biden has won, global financial markets rebounded in anticipation of additional stimulus given Biden’s position on economic growth and recovery.

Trading this morning has a risk-on flavor, reflecting increasing confidence that Joe Biden will occupy the White House, but the Republican Party will retain control of the Senate,” Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney.

“The outcome is ideal from a market point of view. Neither party controls the Congress, so both trade wars and higher taxes are largely off the agenda.”

The president-elect and his team are now working on mitigating the risk of COVID-19, grow the world’s largest economy by protecting small businesses and the middle class that is the backbone of the American economy.

There will be some repercussions further down the road,” said OCBC’s economist Howie Lee, raising the possibility of lockdowns in the United States under Biden.

“Either you’re crimping energy demand or consumption behavior.”

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Nigeria, Other OPEC Members Oil Revenue to Hit 18 Year Low in 2020

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Revenue of OPEC Members to Drop to 18 Year Low in 2020

The United States Energy Information Administration (EIA) has predicted that the oil revenue of members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will decline to 18-year low in 2020.

EIA said their combined oil export revenue will plunge to its lowest level since 2002. It proceeded to put a value to the projection by saying members of the oil cartel would earn around $323 billion in net oil export in 2020.

If realised, this forecast revenue would be the lowest in 18 years. Lower crude oil prices and lower export volumes drive this expected decrease in export revenues,” it said.

The oil expert based its projection on weak global oil demand and low oil prices because of COVID-19.

It said this coupled with production cuts by OPEC members in recent months will impact net revenue of the cartel in 2020.

It said, “OPEC earned an estimated $595bn in net oil export revenues in 2019, less than half of the estimated record high of $1.2tn, which was earned in 2012.

“Continued declines in revenue in 2020 could be detrimental to member countries’ fiscal budgets, which rely heavily on revenues from oil sales to import goods, fund social programmes, and support public services.”

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