Providing Microloans for the Poor in Tanzania

by Opportunity International
Aug 21, 2012

Updates from Tanzania

The Impact of Your Support

Opportunity Tanzania undertook extensive restructuring over the past year to increase its effectiveness and provide clients the services and products they need to help lift themselves out of poverty. Armed with tighter policies and procedures, the dynamic management team transformed the business, making it more efficient and sustainable. Opportunity Tanzania achieved outstanding turnaround progress during 2011:

  • Opportunity Tanzania more than doubled its outreach to end 2011 with 7,230 loan clients.
  • The loan portfolio has shown tremendous growth as well, more than doubling since year-end 2010.
  • Portfolio quality has made tremendous improvement with loan client repayment rates at 98%.

Opportunity Tanzania is seeking to accomplish the following during 2012:

  • Reach 9,700 loan clients
  • Hire four new loan officers
  • Implement a rigorous staff training and leadership system
  • Grow the outreach of the existing branches, especially focusing on the northern branches
  • Introduce individual loan products and school fee loans
  • Focus on financial literacy training for clients 

Increasing Outreach

Currently, Opportunity Tanzania serves clients through three hub branches: Ilala in Dar es Salaam, Arusha and Moshi; and two satellite branches: Tengeru (Arusha satellite) and Himo (Moshi satellite).

Macro-economic issues in Tanzania impact the poorest families

The country’s economic position is expected to strengthen in 2012 as the government implements its new five-year development plan. Yet the high inflation rates in Tanzania continue to hit those living in poverty the hardest, leaving our clients to struggle with the rising cost of fuel, food and other household supplies. Inflation is projected to remain at or above 9% in 2012. Our clients and their families deal with the effects of inflation daily.  They can be the difference between two meals a day or only one.  They dictate whether children can be sent to school or must be kept at home.

Targeted training positions our staff to empower others

Opportunity Tanzania is equipping staff with the right tools to build technical skills and foster personal growth with major emphasis placed on the mission and values of Opportunity. Tanzania staff recently participated in the following professional development opportunities: 

  •  Select staff traveled to other Opportunity banks to receive hands-on training in best-practices.
  • Human Resources staff attended a “train the trainer” seminar in February 2012 which allows them to carry out in-house training to staff who will implement training modules with clients.
  • High potential female staff members attended training through Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women program.

 Protecting Clients from Unexpected Losses

Opportunity Tanzania provides all loan clients with credit, life, funeral, health and natural calamities insurance. Opportunity International’s insurance subsidiary, MicroEnsure launched its first health insurance program in Tanzania in 2010, with a second product targeting rural coffee farmers in 2011. MicroEnsure has accomplished strong growth in Tanzania and reached a milestone of 600,000 lives covered. Significant progress has been achieved over the last year, including:

  • MicroEnsure responded to an expressed need for affordable healthcare by establishing a health insurance program with Kilimanjaro farmers to offer outpatient services and inpatient maternity for less than $20 per person per year.
  • For 0.35% of the loan, MicroEnsure’s innovative Mlinzi wa Familia product protects clients’ businesses from losses due to fire, flooding, earthquake and other major events.
  • MicroEnsure was the first to offer Tanzanians access to life insurance through their mobile phones. Customers receive a free insurance product that pays out a death benefit if a client or covered family member dies. Benefits range from $125 to $600 and increase as customers use more cell phone airtime.

Thanks for all your support that makes the continuing work in Tanzania possible! 


About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Opportunity International

Location: Chicago, IL - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Ian Haisley
Director of Online Strategy
Oak Brook, IL United States

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

Still want to help?

Support another project run by Opportunity International that needs your help, such as:

Find a Project

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence


Woman Holding a Gift Card
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.