With the Third International Financing for Development Conference taking place in Addis Adaba, Ethiopia, next week, we are highlighting a series of articles from the Africa Renewal magazine that examine some of the challenges faced by people in Africa every day. These articles analyse, discuss and debate some of the key economic and development issues, as well as education, health and women’s advancement issues to name just a few.

Today’s article under the spotlight looks at an alternative way of money management within several African countries and how this unique method is empowering women.

‘Table-banking’ has been one of the most successful systems for running financial programmes among women, especially in rural Kenya. It involves group members gathering together monthly to lay their money literally on a table, so that others may take it as a loan.

“Table banking has transformed my life for the better… it has given me a plate from which I will be eating,” said a Kenyan participant.

[tweetthis url=”http://wp.me/p5Mdaw-1Hm”]Loans to women = smart economics. Why? See the latest @AfricaRenewal https://shar.es/1qodbl #FFD3 #Action2015[/tweetthis]

Such a system means that women have access to funds that they wouldn’t have otherwise, and can use that money to start revenue-generating projects without fear of high banking fees and long waiting periods for approval. Access to such programmes is empowering women and helping in the battle for gender equality.
This simple idea has taken off with several groups having memberships of over 10,000.

Joyful Women Organisation (JoyWo) is one such group and this article looks at the women they are helping, how they are doing it and the challenges they continue to face.

At next week’s conference, there are hopes that funding will be allocated to help tackle gender equality and the empowerment of women, so that projects like these can continue to help women across developing countries.

To learn more about the women empowered by JoyWo, you can continue to read here.