Finance Minister takes on microfinance institutions

Finance Minister takes on microfinance institutions

Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Simplex Chithyola Banda has urged microfinance institutions (MFIs) in the country to transform the lives of the poor through their services.

Speaking at Mogfords Resort in Monkey Bay, Mangochi on Friday during the inaugural Malawi Microfinance Network Annual Lakeshore Conference, he said at a time MFIs are making “super normal profits”, they need to ensure that they transform lives of the people who access their services.

Chithyola Banda: Out of the services that
you provide, you make profits

Said Chithyola Banda: “MFIs are important institutions in the country because they play a critical role in helping a larger group of people from all the corners of the country to have easy access of financial services.

“Out of the services that you provide, it is certain you make profits. Therefore, make sure that the lives of those people you serve are actually becoming better.”

The minister said it does not make sense that MFIs should chalk profits, but fail to change the plight of their customers.

“My appeal is to ask you to work towards developing the lives of Malawians economically,” said Chithyola Banda at conference themed ‘Financial inclusion: A key driver towards attaining Malawi 2063’

Reserve Bank of Malawi executive director responsible for regulation and supervision Patrick Mhango hailed the network for the conference, saying it is a good platform that brings together different players in the microfinance industry to look at various issues that affect them and come up with solutions.

He said: “MFIs need to come together to look at issues that affect their performance and operations.

“They also need to look at the future of the sector and fashion out strategies that contribute the national development.”

The network’s president Elias Kafinyangwe said they are excited that they conducted the first conference since it was established 14 years ago.

“We are making significant progress because we are now reaching over one million people from 100 000 people we started with,” he said.

Kafinyangwe also said there are now over 84 MFIs from the 15 companies they started with. Malawi Microfinance Network is a legally constituted grouping of microfinance institutions and institutions provide microfinance-related services.

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