A WRONG Information, Communication and Technology system has deferred the opening of the Women’s Bank expected to financially empower women through affordable loans, it has emerged.
Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development Minister Nyasha Chikwinya confirmed the development in an interview on the sidelines of a tour of the bank’s headquarters at Trust Towers in Harare on Tuesday.
“What has been delaying us is the ICT system. The one we had chosen before they did not find it suitable for millions of women who are going to be users of this bank. That has to be looked into yet again,” said Minister Chikwinya.
She said plans to open are now at an advanced stage as a team of experts in designing such institutions were assisting the ministry.
Earlier indications were that the bank was going to be operational by September this year. In August this year, Minister Chikwinya told the media that a board had already been appointed and workers employed.
The bank was one of the measures put in place by Government to empower women by ensuring that they accessed money at concessionary rates.
Once set up, the micro-finance bank is expected to avail cash to the informal sector at reasonable interest, with less stringent requirements to women, who usually fail to access money from conventional banks due to lack of collateral.
It is estimated that of the 5,4 million people that are in the informal sector, about 60 percent of them are women engaged in vending and various entrepreneurial projects.