BY KABELO SEITSHIRO
Citizen Entrepreneurship Development Agency (CEDA) has financed 7,286 projects to the tune of P4.9 billion since inception.
Parliament this week leant from the Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Bogolo Kenowendo that out of this, 5221 projects valued at P3.6 billion are performing well, representing 76 percent of the portfolio, while 2065 are underperforming. She added that a total of 2844 loans value at P1.4 billion, have been fully settled.
“CEDA has appointed independent audit firms to undertake audits of the agency’s financial statements since inception. The audit of the 2017/18 financial year is currently on-going and is expected to be concluded by end of November 2018,” she stated.
Further quizzed on loan payment scheme validation, she said the CEDA loan payments have been validated through internal and external audits which have been carried out since inception. She added that financial statements of CEDA have reflected a true fair outlook as passed by the auditors. She said as a result, unqualified audit reports were issued by external auditors over the years.
“CEDA’s Young Farmers Fund was introduced in 2007 and since inception, it has funded 629 youth owned enterprises in the agricultural sector valued at P272 million,” she stated.
The Minister was also asked if CEDA has evaluated its programmes to find out if they benefit the nation meant for ordinary Batswana. In response she said they review and evaluates its products offering on an ongoing basis to ensure that there are beneficial to the nation. She said it is also to ensure they meet the objective of financial inclusion. As part of its efforts to ensure financial inclusion for ordinary Batswana and on realization that micro enterprises faced challenges accessing funding from financial institutions; CEDA introduced Mabogo Dinku and young Farmers among others.
Since introduction in 2016, Mabogo Dinku has financed 1070 applicants through the scheme. She said from the total financed, 85 percent are women, while 35 percent are youth.
“We support business development through various funding mechanisms, thereby promoting citizen economic empowerment and entrepreneurship,” said Kenewendo.
She further stated that contribution of entrepreneurial businesses to economic growth is an often debated subject. It is however evident that high growth entrepreneurial businesses have made a substantial impact on the economy, according to the minister.