Written by Enock Laja Balakasi
Community Savings and Investment Promotion Cooperative (Comsip) Union Limited on Tuesady launched Comsiv Company Limited which is its financial subsidiary aimed at providing affordable loans to Comsip affiliates to boost their businesses.
The launch of Comsiv took place at River Side Hotel in Lilongwe.
According to COMSIP Board Chairperson Givemore Chipanga, the company has been established with the aim of improving the social economic status of all COMSIP members who are being exploited by other financial lending institutions.
He said Comsiv is expected to improve Comsip members lives so that they stand on their own and pave the way for other vulnerable community members to benefit from the Comsiv program through loans.
Chipanga added that the company would help build the capacity of cooperative members to run their business with more capital.
“We believe that with the establishment of COMSIV, communities would improve their businesses through access to loans that will eventually enable them build their own safety net mechanisms through savings mobilisation that ensure sustainability,” he explained.
Chipanga revealed that Comsip members mobilized savings were too inadequate to run their businesses hence the intervention.
“When we did a survey two years ago, we discovered that there is need for provision of more capital to the cooperative members to run their businesses smoothly,” he said.
The board chairperson then urged Comsip members across the country to fully embrace the Comsiv initiative, emphasizing that it is for their own betterment.
Speaking during the launch, Executive Director of Malawi Microfinance Network Duncan Phulusa urged COMSIP members to pay back the loans to sustain the company.
“I urge you to always ensure that you remain in good standing with the institution,” said Phulusa.
He noted that Comsiv Company Limited is the first of its kind in Malawi as it is purely targeting cooperatives and is in line with the idea of government to establish a cooperative bank in the future.
“This will also give the government a platform to test the cooperative model in anticipation of establishing a cooperative bank,” added Phulusa.
He further said that for COMSIV limited to succeed, it requires good corporate governance and pleaded with the board to ensure that they should always act in the best interest of the company and embrace good corporate governance systems.
Phulusa promised that Malawi Microfinance Network will give Comsiv all the necessary support possible.
“I urge the board and senior management to familiarize yourselves with the relevant laws and regulations applicable to the conduct of Comsiv business particularly the Microfinance Act and the Financial Services Act”.
Currently, Comsiv has rolled out in three districts of Lilongwe, Dedza and Kasungu as a pilot but expected to be spreading to other districts after the launch.