Driving community upliftment through savings groups

In a bid to educate and empower communities to manage their money more effectively, ERG Africa established a savings programme for the Lenge, Kisanfu and Kisankala communities near the Comide concession.

The programme, now in its fourth consecutive year, enables the community members to come together and pool their savings by depositing an agreed sum of money periodically into a communal savings box. The funds are then loaned responsibly to members of the group over the course of one year, at a low interest rate.

To date, the programme has enrolled 260 participants, surpassing the expected initial membership of 75. In 2022, a collective amount of $24,637.00 was saved and $15,757.00 was loaned to members of the community. Of this loaned amount, 58% was used to start businesses, 14% to fund agricultural activities, 9% spent on healthcare services, 9% on educational activities and 10% on miscellaneous activities.

The savings group has had a positive impact on the development and advancement of households in the communities and has allowed the community members to overcome their apprehension of lending and gain the ability to save. The savings programme has not only promoted sound financial management within the community but also created opportunities for alternative sources of income to prevent illegal artisanal and small-scale mining.

2022 savings programme results:

  • 3 villages
  • A total of 260 community members, consisting of 164 females and 96 males
  • $24,637.00 saved, and $15,757.00 loaned
  • 58% of loaned amount used to start small business (micro-enterprises)

This initiative is in line with two of ERG’s corporate Values – Responsibility and Unity and its commitment to positively impact the communities near its operation.