On 1 March, Gapi presented, in Beira city, a financing instrument focused on the resilience of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MPMEs) affected by cyclones and pandemics.
This is a Resilience Fund, with an initial value of 4.5 million US dollars, and it is co-financed by USAID (United States Agency for International Development). Gapi ensured that the launch of this initiative coincided with its 33rd anniversary, which is celebrated on this date.
The Governor of Sofala province, Lourenço Bulha, chaired the launch ceremony, praising the Gapi-USAID joint initiative, intended to endow Mozambique with a sustainable financing vehicle that will provide aggregate credit with technical assistance to the MPMEs, focusing on the recovery of economic activity, businesses and jobs in the regions affected by cyclones and by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We were particularly pleased to note the importance of the launch of this fund, since its effective implementation could result in the strengthening of the business fabric, with significant gains in the creation of new jobs. Our expectation is that this kind of initiative will have an impact on improving the living conditions of our communities, which are continually trying to get back on their feet, after natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic” – said Bulha.
For the representative of USAID, Mary Hobbs, “this fund is important because it will benefit almost 3,000 enterprises, with a focus on Sofala, Cabo Delgado and Nampula provinces”. Hobbs also stressed the rotating character of the fund, which will allow it to be more comprehensive.
Since they are businesses which face considerable barriers in access to formal financial services, the Fund will prioritise small enterprises in the agricultural value chain and in the food systems, particularly those which are owned or managed by women and youths.
Rafael Uaiene, the chairperson of Gapi, said that this “is an event of great importance for the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and, perhaps, for the national financial system, and so we are inviting you to join us in this increasingly pressing challenge to endow the country with instruments and mechanisms which help the MPMES to be more resilient to the natural disasters which batter increasingly against our region, and against our country in particular”.
At the launch ceremony, the Gapi technical team, led by its CEO, Adolfo Muholove, presented the characteristics of this innovative financial instrument, and gave additional explanations about its implementation, involving duly selected partnerships so as to cover rural areas and to include women and youths in access to the resources that will be made available.
The MPMEs Resilience Fund mainly comprises of a credit component with subsidised interest rates. The design of this financial instrument was to a large extent inspired by the experience undertaken by Gapi, both in the period after the floods of 2000 in southern Mozambique, and in the intervention it made in the weeks following cyclones Idai and Kenneth, counting on financial support from DANIDA. Some of the beneficiaries of the Gapi post-Idai intervention witnessed this event, along with another hundred invited guests.
At the end, both the Governor of Sofala, Lourenço Bulha, and the representative of USAID, Mary Hobbs, expressed their confidence in the capacity and competence of Gapi to guarantee the success and impact of this initiative. After the ceremony, several business people praised the fact that these resources are being managed by an institution whose experience over three decades and good professional and ethical reputation are recognized in national and international forums.