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Credit Against Poverty (CAP)

Access to bank loans is practically impossible for the poor in Cameroon. The guarantees they have to furnish are beyond their capability and the procedures are long, expensive and without assurance. Some may succeed in obtaining a loan from usurers, but struggle with their excessive interest rates. Against this background, the poor remain marginalized as they lack the financial or material means to ensure their livelihood, systems to secure savings, or technical insights and advice to render their initiatives more successful.

A Micro-Finance Task Force, composed of representatives from seven different network member organizations, has designed a micro-finance program that provides low-interest and generally guarantee-free loans and close accompaniment for projects of poor communities, most of them affiliated with RELUFA member organizations throughout Cameroon. Under the name Credit Against Poverty, the program was oficially launched at its constitutive General Assembly of 27 August 2005 and became operational with the disbursement of the first CAP loans on 31 January 2007.

Since then the program has grown to offer a variety of loan products. CAP Holidays, for example, is geared towards University and High School students, enabling them to undertake small business ventures during the long and often idle summer break. RELUFA celebrated the 2008 International Women's Day by launching CAP for Women aimed at the self-development of society's underprivileged gender. Upon the request from subsistence farmers in the Far North, CAP for Scholars helps pay their children's tuition at the beginning of the new school year. 

To apply for a loan, the beneficiary submits a project proposal to the affiliated member organization or other partner of RELUFA, and seeks her sponsorship for the loan request. The sponsor conducts an economic analysis of the project, interviews the beneficiary, evaluates her financial and technical capacity to implement the project, and brings it before the network's credit committee. This committee examines the project proposals and appraisal reports from all applicants and makes a final decision on the loan requests.

Upon approval, a loan agreement is signed by CAP as the lender, the RELUFA member organization or partners as the sponsor and guarantor, and the beneficiary as the borrower. CAP's staff then makes the funds available to the sponsoring member organization, who ensures the disbursement of the loan to the beneficiary and the repayments to CAP. The sponsor provides further technical assistance and continued accompaniment in the field to increase the success of the project.

CAP's repayment schedules are flexible and tailored to the productive cycles of the community's activities. The program sensitizes target groups and network members on healthy micro-finance programs, teaches them bookkeeping skills, and offers close accompaniment in the field. CAP further studies and promulgates alternative savings systems and facilitates the exchange of experiences between member organizations as well as beneficiaries..

Capacity Building
RELUFA organizes workshops and seminars to sensitize RELUFA member organizations and their target groups about the program's philosophy and intentions, and to train them in project development, book keeping, and general loans and savings operations.

CAP's vision, goal and objectives

The task force at work...
The founding GA...

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CAP Newsletters

February 2010

November 2008

CAP-related articles in the

Joining Hands Newsletter

March 2008

December 2007

September 2007

June 2007

March 2007

December 2006








RELUFA, BP 1003, Yaoundé, Cameroun, telephone +237 22 21 32 87
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