A new SOFDEV (Solidarity Fund for Development) has just been created in the federation of tea producers in Rwegura in the Kayanza province in northwestern Burundi.

The effective creation of this SOFDEV was made during the General Assembly meeting of the members of the Akezakarigura cooperative which was held in April 2020, on the basis of the results of a study on the creation of this SOFDEV which was conducted with the support of Inades-Formation Burundi. The process of creation of this new SOFDEV had started with the establishment of a steering team, composed of some leaders of the Akezakarigura cooperative. This team’s mission was to draw up the regulatory texts that will govern the activities of this SOFDEV .

During this Constituent General Assembly, the founding members were then called upon to amend the regulatory texts, namely the Statutes, the Internal Regulations and the savings and credit policy. It was also the occasion to elect the members of the management bodies of this Fonsdev, namely the Executive Committee Bureau, the Credit Committee, the Supervisory Committee and the Awareness Committee. While respecting the representativeness by locality, the choice of the leaders members of the management bodies had to take into account their charisma but also their intellectual capacity especially for the members of the supervisory committee who are called upon to manipulate a lot of figures.

A view of the participants at the GA of the Akezakarigura cooperative

 

A new SOFDEV  with a chance of success

The Akezakarigura cooperative of Rwegura gathers the tea producers, well structured, from the hill association to the federation which is at the level of the tea factory “the Rwegura Tea Complex”. This structuring facilitates the circulation of information and the follow-up of repayments in case of granting loans to members.

The cooperative has already started initiatives to grant credit among its members, which proves that the leaders are already accustomed to credit management. In effect, in this cooperative the members benefit from credits in the form of advances on the payment of their tea production, based on the quantity of tea leaves supplied to the factory. This practice limits the risks of non-repayment of credits, especially as the managers of the cooperative are involved in the payment work.

In addition, this new SOFDEV starts with a consistent capital compared to the other SOFDEV accompanied, which gives it an important power to give more credits to support the projects of its members.

In its accompaniment actions, Inades Formation Burundi focuses on capacity building support for the managers of this new SOFDEV on different themes according to the needs expressed so that they are up to their tasks.

SOFDEV to improve the living conditions of their members

Generally speaking, the members of these SOFDEV accompanied testify that the services they have received have enabled them to improve living conditions in their households. They consider the SOFDEV as a real alternative for financing their projects, especially for populations that were excluded by the traditional financial system.

At the end of 2019, the 5 SOFDEV accompanied by Inades-Formation Burundi totalled 7,992 members. They were able to grant 1,296 credits to members for this year 2019.

The new Rwegura SOFDEV becomes the sixth SOFDEV accompanied by Inades-Formation Burundi and the second initiated around the initiatives of tea producers after that of Buhoro created in 2015 in the province of Cibitoke.

Elected executive committee of the new Fonsdev

Communication Inades-Formation Burundi

Solidarity Fund for Development (SOFDEV) is a community owned and managed micro-finance model designed to mobilize community financial resources and redistribute the same as micro-credits. The model was developed by Inades Formation at the general secretariat to address the issue of financial access among rural communities.

With Inades-Formation Kenya discover the success of Inades-Formation in the field of community microfinance. Read more here

The Solidarity and Development Fund (Sofdev) are community microfinance organizations that provide community-based financial services to people excluded from mainstream financial services.  Inades-Formation Burkina supports 06 Fonsdev, including that of Soukuy.

 

The Sofdev of Soukuy is an adventure that has been going on since 2004.

The Solidarity and Development Fund of Soukuy, located in the Boucle du Mouhoun region in Burkina, was established in 2004 and became operational in November 2005.

It has 12 villages and 537 members, including 120 women, 370 men and 47 associations totaling 1,551 members and bringing the total number of beneficiaries to 2,041.

It is governed by a general assembly and a 12-member management committee.

The Sofdev of Soukuy offers 3 types of savings: solidarity savings, term savings and sight savings. The types of credit offered are productive and social credits.

As far as activities are concerned, the Sofdev of Soukuy regularly organizes its General Assembly, holds its management committee meetings, collects the savings of members, grants loans and monitors their repayment, and pursues warrantage activities. The logbooks for the various funds and the record book are filled out correctly.

A major player in the economic and social recovery of households

The Sofdev of Soukuy plays an important role in the fight against poverty in its area. Indeed, the products it offers, namely the various types of savings and loans, adapted to the financial capacities of its members, allow them to secure their savings on the one hand, fostering discipline in the use of incomes. On the other hand, the credit available to households enables them to make investments, such as purchasing agricultural inputs, paying for the labor required for agricultural activities, initiating or strengthening stockfarming activities, fattening or small business activities. This contributes to increasing households’ incomes.

In addition, access to social credit enables households to respond effectively to urgent health needs, to pay for their children’s education or social ceremonies.

All the services available to households contribute to meeting their basic social needs in terms of health, nutrition and education for children.

In 2017, the Sofdev of Soukuy collected savings in the amount of CFAF 26,112,590 and granted loans to 77 members for a total amount of CFAF 5,668,760.

Inades-Formation Burkina and the support toward the professionalization of the Sofdev

In 2017, in its supporting role, Inades-Formation Burkina got involved in the drawing up of the annual financial statements, organizational diagnosis, organization, follow-up and advice and the holding of a reflection workshop on strategies for preventing, managing and controlling non-payments, followed by the development of an action plan.

For the coming years, Inades-Formation intends to place particular emphasis on monitoring the strategy for preventing, managing and controlling unpaid loans through the training of the Management Committee (COGES) members in the proper management of credit files and the follow-up of the action plan on the strategy to combat unpaid debts. The members of the COGES will be trained in computer science to facilitate their introduction to the use of the Sofdev management software developed by Inades-Formation.

Adama Soulama , Chargé de programme Financement endogène du monde rural