Z’bar co-ops, entrepreneurs apply for relief funds

Z’bar co-ops, entrepreneurs apply for relief funds

NEARLY 3,000 cooperatives societies and entrepreneurship groups in Zanzibar will from Monday start applying for loans released by International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a relief package to stimulate economy in sectors that have been mostly affected by Covid-19 pandemic.

A recent verification of cooperative societies and entrepreneurship groups in Zanzibar indicated that a total of 2,907 out of 3,494 cooperatives qualify for loans allocated to those engaging in income generating activities.

“The qualified cooperatives and entrepreneur groups can from Monday (January 24, 2022) start the loans application process by filling forms at their respective regional commissioners’ offices,” State Minister, President’s Office (Labour, Economy and Investments), Mr Mudrik Ramadhan Soraga in a media briefing on government’s plans to support the groups.

He urged the 587 groups that failed to meet the required criteria to continue taking measures that will enable them qualify for the loans, noting that the government in collaboration with local administrative and municipal councils are committed to ensure economic activities done by members of cooperative societies and entrepreneur groups flourish.

He told reporters at the ministry’s office located at Mwanakwerekwe that the funds are available for the groups that have undergone verification and qualified.

“As explained by President Samia Suluhu Hassan and Zanzibar President, Dr Hussein Ali Mwinyi, the funds are aimed at helping the country tackle the economic and financial challenges caused by Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.

He noted that the groups will get varying amounts of money, depending on the size of the projects, and that most of the activities are linked to the Blue Economy Policy and other economic empowerments strategies.

About 81.8bn/- out of the 460bn/- released by IMF is allocated to support cooperative societies and entrepreneur groups in Unguja and Pemba islands of Zanzibar.

Dr Mwinyi has several times warned executives and applicants for the revolving loan against any cheating, and that the reaction from government will be tough, including loss of jobs, prosecution and paying back.

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