The experience of six months of work in the implementation in Cabo Delgado of a pilot project called “W4P” – Work For Progress – was the central theme of a meeting of a delegation from La Caixa Foundation, headed by Infanta Cristina of Spain and the Executive Committee of Gapi.
“We concluded that together and in partnership with civil society and NGOs such as Ayuda em Accion, we have the capacity to do much more for the progress and well-being of the population in the rural areas of Northern Mozambique, particularly and urgently in the areas affected by terrorism,” said Adolfo Muholove, PCE of Gapi, at the end of the meeting.
In the first months of this project, which at this stage has a limited fund of 8.7 million meticais, provided by La Caixa Foundation, Gapi has identified 31 micro businesses that are being assisted to become formal enterprises and have access to credit.
The conditions of this funding include convenient deferment periods for the initial stabilisation of the businesses, as well as interest rates of less than 12% per annum. Gapi is taking on the responsibility of monitoring the beneficiaries with its own means. Around a hundred jobs have already been secured.
The organisation Ayuda em Acción has informed the La Caixa Foundation of Gapi’s skills and implementation to carry out more ambitious and comprehensive projects in Northern Mozambique. The manager of Gapi in Cabo Delgado, Bruno Torres, recently participated in an international conference in Barcelona that marked the 25 years of international cooperation of La Caixa Foundation, and reported on the “recent experience of Gapi in programmes for youth and women development, namely Agro-youth, PROMER, Juve Inova, Incubox, which are co-financed by multilateral cooperation agencies”.
“In Gapi’s portfolio, in addition to managing lines of credit and guarantee systems for small businesses, the institution has also been asked to carry out socio-economic stabilisation and inclusion interventions in areas of megaproject activities such as those of Total Energies in Palma, in Montepuez with Ruby Mining and in Cateme-Tete with Vale,” added Rui Amaral of the Executive Committee of this development finance institution.
During the meeting with Infanta Cristina, Gapi’s CEO said that Gapi was increasing its presence and capacity to intervene throughout Northern Mozambique, with a particular focus on the Pemba-Lichinga and Nacala corridors.
La Caixa’s management also appreciated the fact that various Mozambican government institutions have established agreements and contracts with Gapi, to ensure efficient implementation of development programmes and projects with public funding, such as the recent contract between IPEME (Institute for the Promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises) and Gapi for the management of a feed mill in Niassa.
In addition to the five branches in the North region, Gapi is promoting a network of micro-banks and local business development units that facilitate the provision of assistance services for business start-ups and management, as well as promoting financial inclusion and access to capital.
At the end of the visit to Gapi’s headquarters, Infanta Cristina and her companions showed curiosity about the history of this development finance institution created over three decades ago and which emerged from a public-private understanding with the mission of promoting objectives similar to those of La Caixa.