New guarantee fund expected to improve young artisans' access to credit
The Togolese government has set up a 100 million CFAF (€ 152,500) guarantee fund to improve access to credit for young artisans across the country.The Togolese government has set up a 100 million CFAF (€ 152,500) guarantee fund to improve access to credit for young artisans across the country.
An agreement was signed on Tuesday 7th between the Artisans Cooperative ECSC and the Ministry of Youth Employment.
Young artisans often have difficulties in accessing credit because they cannot provide sufficient guarantees. This fund should thus enable the ECSC to grant, over a five-year period, a total of 400 million FCFA in microcredits.
"This initiative shows the government's commitment to promote access to financial services for all social groups and aims to promote the artisanal sector to enable it to fully contribute to the reduction of unemployment and poverty, "said the Minister of Youth Employment, Victory Tomégah Dogbé, quoted by République Togolaise.
The fund was set up as part of a project to support the socio-professional integration of young artisans initiated by the government, with several components including entrepreneurial training, assistance in capital equipment and access to microcredit.
Launched in March 2011, this project has benefited over 1,300 artisans and 5,000 in total are expected to benefit from it by 2015.
According to official figures published by Xinhua news agency, the artisanal sector accounted for up to 18 percent of the Togolese GDP in recent years, with around 600,000 Togolese people working as artisans.