KENYA– Wakenya Pamoja SACCO, domiciled in Kenya, registered growth in the 2020/21 financial year, with the Board of Directors now seeking to strengthen operations, spur growth, and development to maximise members’ benefits.
The Sacco, through its innovative financial services greatly supported its members enabling many, especially farmers, overcome the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic that disrupted the Kenyan economy. “The Sacco management put measures in place to improve performance despite the challenges,” said the Sacco Chairman, Hezekiah Nyasamba.
Addressing the 30th Annual Delegates Meeting held recently, Nyasamba oozed confidence that the Sacco future is bright. “The Sacco has created a good working relationship with stakeholders, who include coffee and tea sectors, schools, business communities, and private sectors. We also have a good working relationship with our regulator. I urge members to support our Sacco to achieve our development targets,” he said.
In the financial year ended December 31, 2021, the Society loan book grew by 8.9 percent to reach Ksh 630 million despite economic challenges witnessed among the general membership. The Sacco restructured its loan products to suit members’ economic status, which helped lower bad debts by 13 percent.
Generally, the Sacco posted notable growth across key segments, with total assets increasing to Kshs1.58 billion in 2021, up from Kshs 1.5bln. Members’ deposits also registered growth to hit Kshs 811.59mln.
Customer-oriented services and technologically enabled financial solutions play a significant role in active membership growth to 117,012 in 2021, representing a 19.5% increase compared to 97, 948 members in 2020. The Board declared improved annual earnings to members of Kshs 15mln, which was an improvement from Kshs 8mln in 2020.
“Our focus is offering convenient banking solutions to enhance saving culture as well as grow income streams,” said Nyasamba.
Geofrey Nyanusi Mogire, Chief Officer, Kisii County Agriculture, and Co-operatives Department, who graced the annual meeting held at Kisii Cultural Centre, noted the Sacco had greatly lifted the social-economic standards of members.
“Despite the challenges, Wakenya Pamoja Sacco has remained resilient and offers quality financial services that significantly transformed our residents’ livelihoods,” said Mogire. He noted the Society is an economic pillar to thousands of residents and urged farmers to work with registered co-operative societies. The Sacco has over 165,000 members.
The Chief Executive Isaac Omwenga noted that the Sacco future business model is anchored on using technology to improve efficiency in service delivery. “We want to ensure that members can save and access services at the click of a button using their mobile phones. We are also planning to re-engineer our products to suit the changing economic dynamics,” he said.
Wakenya Pamoja Sacco was founded in 1976 as a Union Banking Section of Kisii Farmers’ Co-operative Union [KFCU]. It became autonomous in 1992 under the name Gusii Farmers Rural Sacco Society Limited [GRFS]. The Society has, over the years, undergone major governance reforms which have facilitated: the change of name which was in line with the strategic move to expand geographically and explore other financial opportunities; and diversification of the membership to increase the society’s scope beyond tea and coffee to include value chain financing, microfinance, business development financing, asset financing among others.
The diversification into microfinance followed by value chain financing has created the impetus and the incentive for change in society. In turn, due to the positive impact of change in governance and the organization of the society, success in the two ventures can now take place and be expanded. The Society is licensed and regulated by the Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority [SASRA].
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