The National Economic Empowerment Fund (Neef), formerly Malawi Enterprise Development Fund (Medf), says it has released K2.9 billion under the National Economic Empowerment program from February to date.
NEEF Public Relations Officer, Whytone Kapasule, said in an interview on Monday that over 1,429 groups; 443 youth groups, 915 women and 71 others have so far benefited from the fund.
“From these groups, a total of 4,430 individuals have already benefitted representing 31 percent. But let me also stress that NEEF is planning to disburse the initial K5 billion by mid-May, 2021,” said Kapasule.
The publicist said the organization is fully aware of the demand from people to have the funds but said processes were at an advanced stage and applicants would get their money soon.
“Some of the delays are as a result of late submission by the applicants with some not having adequate documentation for the loan application. Due to this, NEEF had to request such groups to re-submit their papers and restart the process,” he said.
To ensure more youth benefit from the loan; NEEF has started engaging various groups in all districts on loan application procedures as a way of expediting the process.
Apart from application procedure, NEEF is also training groups in business management, financial literacy that includes basic bookkeeping, savings culture and principles of loan repayments.
Grey Funsani one of the applicants in Zomba said he is looking forward to receiving the money having made the application in January this year.
NEEF is a commercial state-owned enterprise whose mandate is source funds from financing institutions and gives to Malawians in a form of loans.
Government guaranteed NEEF to borrow K8 billion from Export Development Fund in the 2019/2020 financial year and loan it out to Youth and Women as part of economic empowerment.