Macoha asks for more financial inclusion

By Singayazi Kaminjolo - The Nation

Malawi Council for the Handicapped (Macoha) has bemoaned the tendency to sideline people with disabilities from microfinance institutions (MFIs) when disbursing loans.

Malawi Microfinance Network of Malawi (Mamn) project manager Yunus Dickson said it is unfortunate that financial inclusion in the country
continues to sideline the disabled.

He said research has shown that most MFIs in the country have a wrong perception of person with disabilities.

“It’s either most of them are prejudiced or they underestimate the capacity of disabled people to work and repay loans. We want institutions
to tailor their financial programmes with the disabled in mind.

“Raising awareness about disability and the rights of persons with disabilities is the first significant step in training staff to become
disability friendly and inclusive," said Dickson.

He said they are not lobbying for specialised treatment but inclusion of disability people in all programmes from money lending institutions.
Dickson said the institutions stand to benefit more from the untapped market of the disabled people.

Mamn executive director Duncan Phulusa said they will look into the grievances of Macoha and work towards fair financial inclusion.

“Already, some of our members work with the disabled but we applaud you for your presentation and the concerns raised and we will work
towards that," he said.