SACCO's Failure to Go Digital Chokes Growth
Despite some Saving and Credit Cooperative Organisations (SACCOs) in the country posting notable profits and growth over the years, its umbrella body Malawi Union of Savings and Credit Cooperatives (Muscco) admits growth could have been tremendous if fully embraced technology.
Sanderson Nyambwani, MUSCCO president, who was speaking during this year's Malawi Union of Savings and Credit Cooperatives (Muscco) Lake Conference in Mangochi on Friday said technology remains a major challenge for their growth.
Nyambwani said for example, last year, they managed to get 15 thousand new members and posted a 10 percent profits, with some SACCO'S already registered about K5 billion profits by September this year.
"We have so many disruptions as a movement and issue of technology is a very big problem we are facing," he explained.
Ministry of Trade and Industry principal secretary, Francis Zhuwao, who described SACCOs as enablers to sustainable financial growth also emphasized on the importance of going digital.
He said while they are trying to make sure that financial institutions like SACCOs penetrate into rural areas, technology advancement will boost to give people easy access to financial services.
He gave an example of younger generation that could just do things in their phones and not the other way.
A Kenyan-based expert on cooperatives, Dr Nelson Kuria, also stressed the need for Malawian cooperatives to embrace digital financial services if they are to remain relevant in the game.
"If you fail to keep up with the pace of rapidly developing technologies, forget about surviving," said Kuria, who is CIC (Kenya) Insurance Group chairman.
Currently, in Malawi, over 210 thousand people are SACCO members.