Government has capitalised Empower Bank, a micro-financial institution targeted at youth empowerment, to the tune of US$2, 5 million, a Cabinet minister has said.
In an interview, Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Minister Patrick Zhuwao said 39 385 young enterpreneurs have been earmarked to get loans from the bank.
He said the bank’s board of directors has since been appointed, with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe expected to licence the institution soon.
“Government through Treasury has already availed US$2,5 million for the establishment of the bank, and we have appointed the board of directors.
“We have submitted the necessary paperwork to the Central Bank and are hopeful that we will be given the licence very soon. We are now taking it a step further and Empower Bank will exist as a second level financing platform.
“We are focusing on young entrepreneurs who are already in business to mitigate risk of non-payment.”
In his 2016 Mid-Term Fiscal Policy Review Statement, Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa revealed Government’s plan to establish the bank.
The initiative is also part of the RBZ’s financial inclusion strategy.
“The US$2,5 million was allocated towards youth development and employment creation last year, but due to budgetary constraints, the funds were only availed this year,” said Minister Zhuwao.
“Minister Chinamasa, in his presentation to the (Zanu-PF) Central Committee last week, promised to raise the fund to US$10 million. The property which will act as the headquarters of the bank has been identified, and the necessary processes to purchase it have commenced.”-Zimpapers