DRC: Solidarity in place of a bank guarantee for the poorest

In an economic context where the rate of banking is still too low, obtaining credit often proves to be too difficult for the most deprived. But by relaunching the Coopec system, with two new loans granted in South Kivu, the DRC intends to substitute Solidarity for the bank guarantee.

A new solidarity

UNCDF and UNDP are already providing solutions to the poorest of the Congolese to access loans. But through the Microfinance Sector Support Program (PASMIF) supported by Belgium and Sweden, even the most disadvantaged citizens of the Congolese can now organize themselves into a solidarity group to access credit. And, novelty, it is subsequently that the beneficiaries of this credit are distributed in individual title.

The manager of the Cahi savings and credit cooperative, a Beni branch in North Kivu, says that this new type of collective loan is only “its first experimental phase in the pilot province of South Kivu – Expanding in the other provinces of the DRC “. At Coopec Cahi Bukavu, his manager said that the first investment of $ 78,000 allowed his co-op to modernize his equipment and the second loan, valued at some $ 72,000, to support the granting of credits, especially to the group of solidarity.

A satisfaction of the most deprived

The first beneficiaries of PASMIS are the poorest Congolese formerly excluded from the traditional banking systems, which still require guarantees to access a loan. Without this guarantee, more than 90% of the Congolese were almost isolated from the financial system. At present, some citizens of Bukavu (and Walungu) have received loans from Coopec Cahi. Augustin SIBOMANA, a young student in the second year of computer engineering, acknowledges that it was thanks to his share in the collective loan of his group of solidarity named “Ushindi” (Victory, note) that he again relaunched his maintenance workshop computers. “We have acquired new spare parts to troubleshoot all our customers’ computers, which have been on standby for several days in our workshop. Even other technicians are starting to refuel at home, “he says with great pride. Other members of his group have also acquired land and each now works to repay his share in a short time.

A Relaunch of the Coopec

PASMIF has therefore given new life to the Coopec in order to attract several potential customers in the DRC. Despite being criticized by many citizens for their limited ability to resist any monetary fluctuation, Coopec can again generate trust from customers through solidarity groups instead of individuals.

The president of the Coopec board of directors “Le Grenier” ensures that thanks to these solidarity groups, “the Congolese are beginning to regain confidence in the savings cooperatives – and this after the fall of thirty Coopec in The years 2011-2013 – and thereafter they will be sensitized to savings and credit-related benefits “. Thus, the PCA believes in the revival of the Coopec, and hopes to turn the page of the years 2010 when several Congolese remember to have lost, without compensation, their individual investments in these cooperatives.


Author: KANIKI Eliel // Photo: Coopec © DR

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