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Microfinance: An Instrument for Poverty Alleviation

Microfinance: An Instrument for Poverty Alleviation

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Today, almost half of the world’s 7 billion people live on US$2 a day or less. Polak in his book “Out of Poverty”, argues that what the poor need to get out of poverty is money. Following this, the UN declared 2005 the Year of Microcredit to achieving the Millennium Development Goal of halving poverty by 2015. Since that time, microfinance has received much attention. Access to finance for production and consumption is one of the solutions suggested by theory and empirical studies to alleviate poverty in rural Africa. Such financing has been seen to work best through households and self-help groups. Tanzania as one of the poorest countries in the World with rural populations taking the largest proportion of poverty incidence has been struggling to reduce poverty as with other developing countries. One of the interventions has been the introduction and implementation of the National Microfinance Policy. Evidence from policy documents seem to suggest that VICOBA stands out among MFIs in poverty reduction. This study used empirical analysis to investigate the actual role of VICOBA project in Tanzania and the extent to which their operations contribute to poverty alleviation.
Empirical Analysis