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Women’s Bank struggles to stay afloat



THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has identified weaknesses in the risk management and corporate governance of the Zimbabwe Women’s Microfinance Bank.


The weaknesses were observed after the central bank concluded its on-site examination of the financial institution in December last year as part of ongoing supervision in terms of section 36 of the Microfinance Act.

Upon detecting the weaknesses, the Reserve Bank engaged the institution’s board and shareholders to initiate processes and measures to address the deficits.

The Women’s Bank is a registered microfinance institution established in 2018 and is licensed by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ).

It is the only Women’s microfinance institution in Southern Africa.

The Women’s Bank is mandated to empower women through facilitating financial inclusion by providing access to affordable and innovative women-centred financial products and services.

The RBZ said the government would assist the Women’s Bank to resolve its problems so that it fulfils its mandate.

“The Government of Zimbabwe as shareholder is committed to the resolution of the identified weaknesses to enable the microfinance bank to continue to perform its mandate,” said the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

In 2021, a year-and-a-half after its launch, the Women’s Bank supported about 7 000 women after the Covid-19 pandemic through the disbursement of ZW$60 million.

In the same period, it sustained more than 9 000 existing jobs and created about 7 500 jobs through its funded projects.

The central bank, through its supervisory processes, said it would continue to monitor the progress of the Women’s Bank in resolving its deficiencies.

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