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Aku Agba Lome

Introduction - Written by our field partners

Aku is a 38 year old woman living in Lome, Togo. She is married to a carpenter, and together they have three children, aged 13, 8 and 4. 

Her business is selling baby outfits to mothers in Lome. Sales are increasing, however she is finding it hard to keep pace with the demand. 

This is why she is asking for a Deki loan of £240. This is her third loan, after receiving loans to create a successful hairdressing business, and Aku is clear that microfinance has helped her and her husband provide for their family.

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

Antony SUGARHILL BRIGHTON Nurseline Mac Sian

Key information:

  • Name: Aku Agba
  • Trade: Sells baby outfits
  • Total loan required: £240
  • Repaid so far: £0

Fundraising progress:

Only £240 left to repay

Location - Lome, 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%)