The ELCT/NWD SACCOS Programe started way back in 1998, but was formalized in year 2000. Initially ten SACCOS groups were established from the existed Bethania women groups. In the same year (2000) SACCOS Support Unit (SSU) was established in the diocese to mobilize, sensitize, organize, educate and advise people on the establishment of the SACCOS within the area of operations.

The main goal is to contribute in enabling SACCOS  groups in the rural areas to strengthen sustainable development through establishment of financial services at the grass root level under the umbrella of one micro financial institution.

Today (2014) ELCT/NWD has 42 SACCOS units sprees all over the nine (9) diocesan districts. Thirty eight (33) are in rural areas, and nine (9) are in urban/sub urban areas.

They are all at different stages of development. Thirteen (13) of them are so advanced that they provide from office services (FOS) that is mini-banking services located in rural areas.

Total capital at the end of 2013 was Tsh 2,358,145,000/= of which 90% are in loans.

The SACCOS system in the ELCT/NWD has more than 10,800 members. Women are 5386 and 5179 are men in 255 groups.

All SACCOS are registered under the Government Cooperative Societies law (Act 2003 and Rules 2004). 20% of the SACCOS groups have permanent office of their own and the rest use premises but all have plans to build their own offices. Through their Annual General meetings each SACCOS has democratically elected its leadership with Board members ranging between 5 and 9 members. Also have Loan and Supervision communities and two officers (treasurer and the secretary). Each has by-laws for daily guidance and credit and savings policies for their operations. They issues loans to members at an annual interest rate of between 13% and 20%.

Through SSU work in mobilizing, sensitizing, educating and advising the SACCOS, there has been obvious achieving including:

  • Operating SACCOS in positive conduct according to the government law.
  • Transparency on the financial status of the SACCOC operations through SSUS inspection work.
  • Women, men and youth have been employed through established projects/activities from SACCOS loans taken by members.
  • School aged children get education through loans taken as school fees by their parents/guardians
  • Women are proud to control/or own account which they can have own decision regarding their earnings.
  • In general the community has been able to get their financial service at low costs compared to the past when they were travelling a long distance to district towns (Bukoba,  Muleba, Biharamulo and Chato) for such services.


Despite the mentioned achievements there is a lot of challenges including

  • Lack of business skills among some  members
  • Low loan portfolio due to low capital
  • Number of members is still low compared to the population in the area
  • Capacity building to personnel is required as the operations of the SACCOS increases  due to  the increase  in number of members  and money transactions for security purposes

Future plan

  • The ELCT/NWD through the SACCOS Support Unit (SSU) is committed to eradicate poverty in the community.
  • To join all SACCOS groups under one Micro Finance Institution (MFI)