The Women’s Micro Bank Limited branded as “Mama Bank “entered into a MoA with the Oro Provincial Government to provide accessible financial services to women, youth and the people of Oro province last Friday.
Both parties realised that ordinary women, youths and the people of Oro Province at large should be equal partners in the provincial economic development plans through access to financial services and credit funds to boost their entrepreneurial activities.
“They should have their own bank account with affordable and adequate access to funds to enable them to play a more active role in the economic development and contribution of the province,” said Mr Ricky Mitio, Chairman of Mama Bank.
Mr Mitio said the main thing they want to do is to bring financial services to the lower mama’s who work and do market on the streets and who are in the informal sector which the government’s SME program doesn’t reach.
‘’We are striving to break through the cultural barrier of women not being the financial controllers at home and to take mamas in Oro Province to the next level.”
The Women’s Micro Bank is 6th in the world with 9 branches in PNG with the most recent one opened in Oro province bringing the total to 10 Micro Bank branches in PNG.
Mr Mitio acknowledged the Oro Governor Mr Garry Juffa and was happy to commit the bank to be in partnership with the Oro Provincial Government.
Mr Juffa has announced that his government is happy to support its’ people to be productive rather that being dependent, therefore, is committed to deliver on its responsibilities captured in the MoA.
The MoA includes establishment of Mama Bank in Popondetta, Credit Guarantee Scheme and Financial Literacy Training to be provided to women groups within the province.
Mr Juffa stated that he is impressed with Mirco Banks evolution to where it is now providing financial services especially to all the mothers out there and the young women who are involved in the SME space.
‘’I believe that the SME sector is the backbone of any developing economy. And coming from a house-hold of a single mother who struggled and worked several jobs just to make sure there was food on the table and who was also very active in the SME space as well, I know how much that contributes to a family, community and a province,’’ Juffa said.
Mr Juffa said that funding of K500, 000 has already been set aside since 2013 and is still available with an additional K500, 000 topping off to K1million for this project alone, while Mama Bank will contribute equal share as credit funds for MSME and SME activities in Oro.
Mean while Mama Bank CEO Mr. Gunanidhi Das expressed that the Women’s Micro Bank is trying to implement the real microfinance concept in the province and the country.
‘’We are happy to come onboard this agreement to help and support OPG’s ambitions for its province to extend inclusive financial inclusion services in Oro’’.
He challenged all men, women and youths of Oro to use this opportunity as a gateway to becoming economically independent and to do away with free hand out mentality.
Also, Mama Bank believes that women are the gateway to economic empowerment of the country and adheres to the slogan “SUPPORTIM MERI KIRAPIM BUSINES KIRAPIM KANTRI’’