Thursday, March 09, 2017

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Avails $75m for Women’s Projects
March 9, 2017
Anesu Chakabva
Herald Reporter

Women have received a major boost from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe which has put in place initiatives that will see them receiving more than $75 million for various projects. This was said during the International Women’s Day celebrations hosted by the Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development and attended by various stakeholders that included the United Nations community, as well as Government officials in Harare yesterday.

Deputy Reserve Bank Governor, Dr Charity Lindiwe Dhliwayo, who was guest of honour, said the apex bank established initiatives which included the Women Empowerment Fund, small holder agriculture production fund, a horticulture facility, and a gold development facility for small scale gold miners and these will be available through Fidelity Printers and Refiners, a subsidiary of the Reserve Bank.

The money allocated to the gold development facility was increased from $20 million to $40 million because of the success registered thus far.

The initiatives were allocated $15 million, $10 million, $10 million and $40 million respectively and the fund disbursements modalities are being finalised through the respective stakeholders across the country.

“The initiatives aim at catering for the individual needs of the marginalised groups, particularly women, who face challenges in accessing financial services due to lack of or inadequate acceptable collateral,” said Dr Dhliwayo.

“The Reserve Bank will also establish a collateral registry which will enable women to use their movable assets like sewing machines as collateral.”

The RBZ is also working on reducing the risks associated with informality in terms of business and to also incorporate all in developmental processes, said Dr Dhliwayo.

She said the efforts would enhance the financial inclusion of women and will contribute towards the achievement of Zim-Asset objectives. In addition to the women’s desks availed in eight banks so far, the soon-to-be-launched Women’s Bank will assist women to prosper in the business arena.

Minister of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development Cde Nyasha Chikwinya thanked the RBZ for availing the $15 million Women Empowerment Fund in the 2017 Monetary Policy and said it will improve efforts in the total empowerment of women.

She urged banks managing the facility to work closely with her ministry in ensuring that deserving cases benefited. The focus for this year’s International Women’s Day was “Women in the changing world of work”, and running under the international campaign theme #BeBoldForChange.

The national theme for this year was “The woman we want is Bankable, Beautiful, Business-minded, Brainy, Bold, Blessed and Balanced.”

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