, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 28 – Rafiki Deposit Taking Microfinance has rolled out a Sh1.2 billion product that will allow informal investment clubs also known as “chamas” to access loans of up to Sh200 million.
The Chama Supreme Banking will target ‘chamas’ that want to invest in land, shares, bonds, properties, businesses and any other areas without limiting the type of investment.
“Investment groups hold more than Sh100 billion in Kenya; we want to empower them to own more as a means of securing their future – that is why we are not limited to any area,” Rafiki DTM General Manager George Mbira said on Tuesday.
Mbira said that Rafiki branches will be open seven days a week with a team to offer free investment training and advisory services.
“We are supporting interested groups in the 47 counties with willingness to reach out to chamas wherever they are,” he said.
Mbira said that the bank has set aside Sh1.2 billion in 2013 in order to bridge the financial gap that derails many from securing their future through pooling resources.
“We are only responding to the needs of our customers and in such economic times as this, investments through amalgamating resources is the way to go,” he said.
With six operational branches in four counties, Rafiki hopes to close the year with 20 branches.
The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics economic survey 2013 established a 6 percent increase in people engaging in informal sector activities.
The survey also says that the growth in employment in the informal sector has been on an upward trend over the five year period.