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Edoh Kombate Lomé

Introduction - Written by our field partners

Edoh Kombate is a 49 year old single mother living in Lomé, Togo with her two children aged 8 and 22 years. Both of her children are currently in education.

Having previously worked as a dressmaker, Edoh now provides for her family by selling corn, beans, millet and sorghum (a cereal grain with a natural drought tolerance which is often used as animal feed). A typical day involves purchasing the merchandise from a wholesaler and reselling it, as well as completing various additional sewing tasks. Edoh works for 84 hours per week. She is now looking for a loan to strengthen the business by increasing the sales volume.

With the loan she plans to buy more stock of cereal and beans. She hopes that this loan will help her to diversify the products she can sell, as well as developing the customer base of the business. It would also make a difference to her family by allowing her to pay for the children to continue their education.

Field Partner: Iades-Togo

Iades-Togo

IADES (Institution d'Aide au Développement Economique et Social) was set up in November 2012 with the aim of responding to the needs of 95% of the population who do not have access to the usual financial services offered by the commercial banks.

Based in Lomé, the capital, IADES is a not for profit association whose objective is to improve the lives of the poor, especially women, by providing them with a chance to help themselves and work their way out of the poverty trap. Their social mission is extremely important to them, a key part of which is to reduce gender inequality and to empower women.

IADES offers microloans and savings plans - at minimal cost - alongside business training and accountancy to their clients. They offer loans to farmers, traders and those engaged in animal husbandry. IADES also considers it important to provide health education on preventing AIDS, malaria and other communicable diseases to improve the health among the disadvantaged.

Also lending to this entrepreneur

Richard Colin Mandy Thea Ali Francesca Jim

Key information:

  • Name: Edoh Kombate
  • Trade: Sells corn, beans and millet
  • Total loan required: £190
  • Repaid so far: £0

Fundraising progress:

Only £190 left to repay

Location - Lomé, Togo

Togo or la République Togolaise is a West African country bordered by Ghana to the west, Benin to the east and Burkina Faso to the north. It sits on the Gulf of Guinea and is one the smallest African countries.

It is a sun-Saharan nation which is highly dependent on agriculture. The climate is generally tropical with two short rainy seasons between April and July and between September and November although the average rainfall is not very high. Crops grown include coffee, cocoa, cotton, yams, cassava (tapioca), corn, beans, rice, millet and sorghum.

Education is only compulsory for six years and the system suffers from a severe lack of trained teachers. Many families cannot afford to pay for school fees or uniforms which leads to significant dropout.

The country is a prime example of where micro-finance can make a significant difference. Micro-finance is concentrated in the countries of the developing world. According to IADES less than 5% of the population has a bank account and over 50% live below the poverty line which is less than $1.25 /day. This is due to the banks' reluctance to lend to the poor and to the high cost of running a bank account. The majority of the population is considered by the mainstream banking sector to be un-creditworthy.

Entrepreneurs use their micro-loans to improve their plot yields, to trade goods in towns and villages and to increase their animal herd. The profits from their enterprises allow them to pay for school uniforms, for secondary schooling or to pay for medicines for sick members of their family.

Some statistics:

  • Capital: Lomé
  • Official languages: French
  • Regional Languages: Gbe, Kotokoli, Kabiye, Mina, Dagomba.
  • Population: 7.5 million (2015)
  • GDP: $11.558 million (2016 estimate)
  • Monetary Unit: CFA Franc (Communaute Financiere Africaine)
  • Percentage of people living on less than $1.25 a day: over 50%, of those 12.9% live in extreme poverty (Ministere de l'Economie, 2007)
  • Adult literacy rate: 75.4% (men), 46.9% (women)
  • Estimated adult (aged 15-49) HIV prevalence: 2.9% of adults aged between 15 - 49 years
  • Life expectancy: 56 years (men) 59 years (women) (2016)
  • Female Genital Mutilation rate: 4%
  • Religions: Traditional African (51%), Christian (30%), Muslim (15%)