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  • Gloria Quartey-Papafio

Sustainable Oceans Project funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation: Village Savings and Loans Associations contributes a total sum of 111,755 Ghana Cedi as social and share funds.

For many fisherwomen, access to finance for their businesses is a significant challenge. This is due to the high interest rates charged by financial institutions, which make it difficult for them to access affordable credit. Moreover, the nature of their work, which is often unpredictable and seasonal, makes it challenging to meet the stringent requirements of traditional lenders.

In coastal communities, these challenges are further compounded by the limited access to formal financial services. This poses a significant socio-economic challenge, as it limits the ability of community members to invest in their businesses, save for the future, or meet emergency needs.

To address these issues, CEWEFIA has developed a comprehensive solution in the form of a VSLA (Village Savings and Loan Association) under the Sustainable Oceans Project funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation. The selected communities under this project included; Otuam, Kormantse, Ankaful, Winneba, and Anomabo. The VSLA has created a platform where community members in these selected communities with a total of twelve (12) groups with maximum of 30 members in all who can contribute and save money daily. The VSLA groups come together to save money, access small loans, and build financial resilience. This platform enables fisherwomen and other community members to access affordable credit and invest in their businesses, which helps to increase their income and improve their livelihoods.

During the formation process, the Project Team worked closely with the members to elect Executives who would lead the associations and ensure that the groups operate effectively. Both the Executives and the members were trained on the roles and responsibilities of their positions, as well as on the procedures for conducting VSLA meetings, and were handed a constitution which all members agreed upon.

By pooling their resources, community members leverage their collective savings to support income-generating activities, meet emergency needs, and foster economic development. Over the past year to date, VSLA groups from Kormantse, Otuam, Winneba, Ankaful, and Anomabo have made substantial contributions to both Social Fund and the Share Fund. A total of 111,755.00 Ghana Cedi has been contributed by the group members from the aforementioned communities respectively, with 8,407.00 Ghana Cedi allocated to the Social Fund and 103,348.00 Ghana Cedi to the Share Fund.


Currently, the CEWEFIA Project Team closely monitors the VSLA groups during their weekly savings meetings to ensure that the procedures are followed correctly and that the groups are meeting their objectives. As part of the Norad SOP Project, the CEWEFIA Project Team accompanied by interns embarked on a Monitoring and Evaluation Assessment of the Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) program spanning from 27th to 28th of February 2024, focusing on its financial contributions, loan distribution, and challenges faced, key lessons learned, and recommendations for program strengthening.  

The members are encouraged to save regularly and to take out loans when needed, which are repaid with interest. Through this initiative, the members have access to financial services that were previously unavailable to them, enabling them to start and expand their businesses and improve their livelihoods.

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