AID ENTERPRISING WOMEN TO BORROW PRUDENTLY

Monday May 09 2022
By The Citizen Reporter

Generally speaking, credit is the leading source of financing among entrepreneurs. However, in Tanzania the story is different, especially among women entrepreneurs.

Data shows that most women entrepreneurs are reluctant to seek loans offered by commercial banks and microfinance institutions in Tanzania. This is due to various reasons, including especially unfriendly borrowing terms that include inordinately high interest rates.

Negative beliefs about credit from formal lenders are usually the result of lack of awareness regarding financial issues, as well as functional business plans on their part.

This kind of entrepreneurs – women and the youth, particularly – requires the right kind of support, especially by training them on the crucial role of credit; preparing business plans and keeping business records – and even on how/where best to invest borrowed funds.

Also, some women seeking credit claim that unscrupulous loan officers solicit bribes to speed up the process, or bend borrowing criteria. This is criminal misconduct which should be promptly dealt with by the appropriate authorities.

In any case, bank managements must also make follows-up on such incidents to ensure that any loan officers of dubious probity are sorted out to avoid a repeat in the future.

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It must be remembered that women form a bigger proportion of the Tanzanian population and, as some human rights activists put it, “empowering women is empowering the society”.

Women entrepreneurs – as is indeed the case with any other entrepreneurs – need to succeed and play their rightful role in growing Tanzania’s economy.

As it is, more than a half of the small and medium-size enterprises in the country are reportedly owned by women – a clear indication that they have the potential to spur economic growth.

Let us join efforts to do what is needed to support enterprising women in securing financing support for their businesses.


SCHOOLS DESERVE GOOD TOILETS

The government’s campaign to build decent toilets at public schools across the country should go a long way in improving the health of learners at institutions that will benefit from the project. Many public schools lack toilets, let along functional toilet facilities, to serve the hundreds of thousands of pupils who attend public primary and secondary schools.

As a consequence of the shortage of school toilet facilities in the country, pupils of both sexes have to grapple with the inadequacy by queuing up for a long time before they can relieve themselves in what are to all intents and purposes insecure communal pit latrines.

Such a situation compromises not just their health and security, but also their attendance in class and general psyche as they grow up.

With different campaigns unfolding that aim at reducing the toilets shortage, better days lie ahead regarding availability of functional toilet facilities in the country’s schools and elsewhere.

Parents, guardians and patrons can also play a significant role in improving sanitation in schools (and other communal settings) by contributing to toilet construction projects.