Micro Finance in Sudan, a BOOMING Market
Limited access to credit and the absence of affordable credit are the primary reasons small companies don’t get off the ground in Sudan. In 2013, Sudan ranked 167 out of 185 countries by the World Bank’s Doing Business Report (2010) based on the ease of getting credit.
Most of the poor Sudanese in urban settings cannot afford the fees banks charge for loans. Consequently, they borrow from other business owners, or traders, who are willing to be repaid in cash or in kind. Like commercial banks, micro finance institutions (MFIs) are independent and provide loans to small entrepreneurs. Today, twelve MFIs are registered by the government in Sudan and offer loans at market rates. These loans allow people to fulfil their dreams.
Micro Finance in Sudan | A huge market
The Micro finance Sector in Sudan is not a new one. The government’s Central Bank of Sudan (CBS) championed micro finance as a poverty alleviation tool and has dedicated significant resources for loans and credit to small and medium-sized businesses such as Mohammed’s brick making business. A few years ago the government passed a requirement that all commercial banks set aside 12% of their resources for microfinance loans. “I have never seen a county so committed to microfinance as Sudan,” says Task Team Leader Andres F. Garcia, Economist and Country Sector Coordinator with the World Bank. “The micro finance sector is growing in Sudan and it seems to be a healthy sector compared to other countries where the sector grows and then begins to drop,” he adds.
In the state of Khartoum, the demand for microfinance is extremely high. According to a recent survey conducted in urban areas, 21% of the total population expressed interest for such loans. Yet, 72 % of the micro entrepreneurs surveyed said they had no access to formal or informal credit services.
In Sudan, small-scale industries account for 93% of the manufacturing industry, and small entrepreneurs provide two-thirds of household needs for the majority of Sudanese households. The formal financial sector only serves a tiny proportion of these entrepreneurs, thus pointing to the existence of a huge untapped market.