One advantage of traffic jams is that one has all the time to observe fellow road users and people on street. Friday morning is busy on the streets of Dakar: people commuting to work, vendors on the street –the products literally reach the customer –, and cars everywhere. After 30 minutes I arrived at U-IMCEC Dakar Liberté VI agency. Maguete Ngom, the branch manager, explained the strength of U-IMCEC is that they know their customers. U-IMCEC Dakar Liberté VI agency has 4 small branches. Every branch has its own volunteers that hold positions in the local board or the credit committee. There is also one board at the regional level and another one at the national level.
Ms Coumba Faye is member of the branch’s credit committee. She was a public servant for 20 years, but always wanted to be involved in development work. ‘During the AGM, I showed interest in taking this position and I was elected by the other members.”
A fishermen’s neighbourhood in Yoff
It took about 30 minutes from the agency to Yoff, outside Dakar where we met Ms Raura Faye who has a business for transporting fish and heads an association of 1037 people part of one group loan.
(Picture) Ms Raura Faye in front of her truck
Most of the members are fisherman, fish traders, or offer transport services as motor boats or truck to bring the fish to farther markets. It was the first time I heard of such a large group. The group started with a XOF 1 million loan (€ 1525) and currently receive XOF 17 million (€ 25,916) and Raura splits the loan in the group dedepning n their needs. She also explained the large group is divided in groups of 10 people for daily repayments. And once a week the whole group repays U-IMCEC.
Safeguarding local flavours – February 14
Les Mamelles Jaboot is an Oikocredit partner producing dairy products, especially yoghurt, yoghurt and local grains (millet), milk powder, and juices produced with local fruits. Yoghurt are produced in 5 flavours: coconut, strawberry, pineapple, vanilla, and exotic fruits.
This small family business started in 1998 in the kitchen of Mr and Ms Ndiaye and today employs 100 people. Antoine Ndiaye, son of the owner and production manager, showed around the factory and answered questions. Les Mamelles Jaboot is involved in a nutrition project to provide yoghurt and local cereals to children in Dakar. The pilot project included 6000 children who otherwise would start their school day without any breakfast.
At the end of the tour, it was time to try some yoghurt. Obviously, I chose the favourite flavour of Senegalese families.