By Olimatou Coker
With a mission to build a sustainable and authentic Islamic microfinance institution, Yonna Islamic Microfinance last week opened branches in Farafenni and Wassu, its 11th and 12th branches since inception.
According to the group, the vision of the institution is to be the Islamic microfinance of choice in The Gambia.
The institution enables consumers to obtain loans when needed and increase credit availability.
Yankuba Mamburay, Managing Director of Yonna Islamic Microfinance, said the opening of these branches is part of their strategies to bring financial services to people’s door steps, in line with the Central Bank of the Gambia’s desire for financial inclusion. “We are grateful to the Board of Directors of Yonna Islamic Microfinance for the relentless support to management for the realization of these noble goals.
We look forward to a very successful partnership to create a very vibrant financial and business environment,” he said.
MD Mamburay added that he envisions that these new branches will help Yonna to connect with the community, and attend to their needs in food items through Yonna Enterprise, send and receive money and get foreign exchange through Yonna Forex Bureau, as well as deposit, save, withdraw and access loans (financing facilities) through Yonna Islamic Microfinance, and insure their properties and thus mitigate risks through Yonna Islamic insurance. “As a group, we provide the population with a wholesome package that is essential for economic development, not only for the region, but for the country as a whole”, he said.
He also highlighted that within this context, the branches will be actively involved in reaching out to the populace to open accounts for the safekeeping of customers’ money and discussing many business opportunities, in order to address the specific challenges and constraints that you may face.
He also said saving money with them help to create the much-needed employment. “Because of good customers, the Yonna Group has over 400 employees across the length and breadth of the country.”
Momodou Barrow, Managing Director of Yonna Forex Bureau, said 10 years ago they went to Farafenni and opened a foreign exchange bureau for the community but later realized that the people of Farafenni really appreciate their work, that’s why they thought is important to open another branch called Yonna Islamic Microfinance for the same community to solve their needs.
MD Barrow urged the community to see the company as their own and to open an account with them to keep their money safe always.
He also called on the people to believe in Yonna, saying that they will continue to fulfil their promise everywhere they go.
Ebrima Bittaye, Managing Director of Yonna Insurance, said Yonna aims to introduce Islamic insurance in rural areas as well.
“Insurance provides comfort to the clients and Yonna Islamic Insurance aims to provide this comfort in a Sharia compliant way. Yonna Islamic Insurance offers all insurance products ranging from motor insurance, fire insurance, burglary insurance, liability insurance, marine insurance etc.”
Lamin Camara, Head of Shariah and Compliance, said Yonna Islamic microfinance offers different types of accounts; current, savings and investment.
“Under savings, we have the following products: 1. Maboro 2.
Dajaleh 3. Diaspora 4. Child Savings 5.Hajj & Umrah, Under current, we have:
1. Salary 2. Business 3. Cooperate and under investment, we have: 1. Mudaraba Deposit Certificate and 2. special Mudaraba Deposit Certificate.”
He added that all their operations and activities are guided by Islamic law.
“We don’t give or receive interest but instead we share profits with our deposit clients and we also do profit sharing with our financing customers”.
Speaking in Wassu, Balamin Keita, the village Alkalo of Wassu, said this latest development in his community is not only for the people of Wassu but for the entire country as a whole.
Pierre Bah, Chief of Naini, and the deputy Governor among others both spoke at length, also thanked the Yonna group and the Yonna Islamic Microfinance for such a great initiative.
Facilities on offer
Future Cash Needs
Yonna offers various schemes and incentives to encourage people to save money for the future.
Investment & Income Generation
Using the various Islamic Financial products, they invest customers’ money to enable them to earn profits on such investments. Keeping money at home deprives you of such opportunities and in fact can cause serious losses and Availability of cheap loans (financing facilities): Yonna Islamic Microfinance provides loans for various purposes at reasonable charges, in line with Islamic principles with reasonable and flexible repayment options.