Barwaqo Bank aims to boost Somalia’s Agribusiness sector
Somalia s newest Microfinance Bank; Barwaqo Bank has recently joined a partnership with International Fund for Agricultural Development(IFAD) and BidNetwork through Somali Agrifood. This is an exciting initiative to empower Somali famers which will give them access to finance through the facilitation of loans between USD 20,000 – 200,000.
Barwaqo Bank is the first, modern Microfinance specialist bank operating in Somalia. The bank specializes in offering a broad range of financial services to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and other clients in the lower income strata, with services focused on micro-credit, micro-loans and other micro-insurance products and services. The Bank also offers current and saving accounts and its services are open for individuals and businesses. A principle aim of Microfinance providers such as Barwaqo Bank is to overcome the chronic levels of youth unemployment in Somalia which stands at 67% (UNDP, 2011).
Barwaqo Bank aims to overcome poverty levels in Somalia by assisting Somali Farmers to secure the necessary finances for their business ventures. Barwaqo Bank’s operations together with other international and Somali organisations will cover all Somali regions including Puntland and Somaliland.
Barwaqo Bank’s pioneering work in Somalia is critical as it is estimated that that more than 1/3 of Somalia is fertile, especially the fertile Southern regions where the rivers Juba and Shabelle are based. These regions provide an excellent opportunity for agricultural development and irrigation techniques to increase farming output as well as food security in Somalia.
“One quarter of our customers are famers and we understand how much these loans can help them grow their businesses, and we are proud to be part of this great initiative and help boost the local economy”. Agnes Gitau, Chief Strategic Officer