The recent Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Tanzania Producers’ Microfinance Public Limited Company (TAPFICO) provided an opportunity to reflect on the early achievements of this unique type of public limited company in Sub-Saharan Africa.
With support from COL, TAPFICO helps Tanzanian micro-entrepreneurs with no conventional collateral gain access to financial credit, educates them on entrepreneurship and links them to local and foreign markets.
At the AGM, Mr Leopold K. Rweyemamu, TAPFICO Chair, noted that the company helps alleviate poverty in the community and serves as an alternative “safety valve” for liberalised lending.
COL has been supporting capacity building at TAPFICO through the local NGO, Matumaini Mapya. Key company stakeholders have been engaged in COL-led seminars and workshops, and assistance has been provided in drafting TAPFICO’s business plan.
Since its registration in June 2020, the company has brought together over 3,000 shareholders and mobilised a core capital of TZS 13,420,200 (USD 5,835). TAPFICO is now getting ready to start negotiations with commercial banks and other financial institutions to access loans for its shareholders and other smallholder farmers in Tanzania for improved livelihoods.
“TAPFICO will serve as a good example to follow for many of the Commonwealth countries, where small-scale farmers are struggling with access to credit and markets,” said Dr Moses Tenywa, COL Education Specialist: Agriculture & Livelihoods.