Source: Daily News
Women and youths have been encouraged to own land that they may use as collateral when applying for business loans from financial institutions such as banks in the country.
The call was made by a member of the Parliamentary Committee on Administration and Local Government Affairs, Ms Halima Mohamed, Unguja Special Seat MP when the committee visited the Property and Business Formalisation Programme popularly known by its Kiswahili acronym as MKURABITA.
Among other things, the committee visited several women and youth group that have been financed by the Presidential Trust Fund (PTF).
Ms Mohamed said there is need to educate women and youth on the importance of owning land as such a move will help promote their businesses and obtain accreditation in different areas.
"Majority of women and youth are struggling to obtain loans in support of their business development because they lack collaterals demanded by financial institutions," said Ms Mohamed. She observed that if the two groups gain access to land they would be able to unlock huge potentials which will increase the scope of their income generating activities.
A beneficiary of MKURABITA programme, Lucy Yona (59) noted that before obtaining a customary title deed she could only access a loan amounting to 500,000/- to support her maize flour business. "After obtaining the tittle deed through the support of the programme, I have extended my maize flour factory and have employed 15 people," noted Yona.
She pointed out that through the title deed she can now access a loan of up to 8om/- that has led to the development of her business. Another beneficiary, Popat Mtenzi expressed gratitude for the support. However, he cited challenges such as huge taxes and the many road tariffs. Mtenzi observed a language barrier on the loan contracts, as some of the contracts acquired very technical terms that are somewhat confusing them.
The Regional Administrative Secretary (RAS), Mr Jackson Msetabahu, observed that over 400 women and youth group have been established in the region. "As we are anticipating the kick start of the Mchuchuma and Liganga mines in the region, we urge women to start investing on various areas so that they would benefit when production begins," said Msetabahu.
The Minister of State in the President's Office - Public Service Management and Good Governance - Ms Angellah Kairuki, directed Njombe municipality to establish a one-stop centre that will help the smooth start for opening up investments and bussiness operations and reduce barriers on obtaining the various permits.
"As for the business development officers, your role is to visit these people and advise on more better ways to undertake their income generating activities," stressed the minister.
By Maureen Odunga in Njombe