Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
THE Women’s Bank will be fully operational once the installation of Information Communication Technology systems is complete by the end of the month, an official has said.
The much-awaited Women’s Bank was supposed to open its doors to the public in September this year.
Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development Deputy Minister Abigail Damasane, who was representing the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development chairperson, Beatrice Nyamupinga during the Parliamentary pre-budget seminar in Victoria Falls on Friday, said:
“As soon as the installation of the ICT systems is complete the Women’s Bank will open its doors. It (installation of ICT systems) is anticipated to be through by the 30th of November 2017, then we talk of a real client walking into this infrastructure doing transactions”.
The idea to set up the Women’s Bank was mooted some years ago with the objective of providing financial support to women entrepreneurs. This was after the Government realised that women were facing challenges in accessing funding from other existing banks for their various business projects as they demanded collateral upfront.
Most of the women do not have assets that can be regarded as collateral as these were mostly registered under the names of their spouses.
The setting up of the Women’s Bank has been on the cards for years due to various reasons but the Government in the 2017 national budget allocated $10 million for bank’s its capitalisation.
“The $10 million was allocated in the form of Treasury bills to the Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development for the establishment of the bank,” said the Deputy Minister..
“What the ministry did after setting up all the administrative issues of the bank and all the consultation, among other issues was to put in liquidation cash amounting to $5 million and the breakdown of that $5 million is as follows: ICT systems cost $700 000 and the branches’ network $2.3 million and also the setting up costs. The remaining $2.5 million is for on-lending.”
It is hoped that the rural population will also be catered for by the bank through a partnership formed between the Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development and the People’s Own Savings Bank. [email protected]