Poverty and the impact of microcredit : a theological reflection on financial sustainability in Lusaka rural, Zambia

Phiri, Justin (2011-03)

Thesis (MTh (Practical Theology and Missiology))--University of Stellenbosch, 2011.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study tries to examine the impact of microcredit on the lives of poor people. There are different views on microcredit as a powerful development tool regarding its success in developing the lives of the poor and, sometimes, these views are contradictory. However, poverty is a global issue; it is a problem that even the wealthiest nation is experiencing. In this scenario, a country like Zambia is facing a great challenge to alleviate or reduce poverty, because poverty is the cause of many problems, such as suicides, illiteracy, unemployment and diseases like depression, stress, etc. In order to control these diseases, poverty must firstly be controlled. At government, church and also at international level, many strategies are implemented daily to control poverty. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to observe what role microcredit is playing in poverty alleviation in Zambia. Zambia is a country that ranks below average on most social indicators within Central Africa. Its economic inequalities are enormous leaving indigenous Lusaka rural‘s population far behind. With this point of departure, this research aims to measure the impact of microcredit on indigenous poor people in a village situated in the poorest region of Zambia. Its purpose is to capture how the economic capacity has changed over time due to microcredits from a microfinance institution. In order to obtain a multi-dimensional picture of their situation, four additional related aspects are examined: the political capacity, social and human capital, and gender equality. In addition, a correlation analysis of the inter-relation between these aspects and the church is done. The results are two-sided and demonstrate no general correlation between time and economic capacity, nor among the four other aspects. The variables that increase with time are: the current construction of their houses, the quality of their clothes, and their political capacity. However, the reliability of the data is somewhat questionable. An ana-lysis of these contributes to the ongoing discussion on how to perform impact studies on microfinance institutions, as well as how different aspects influence each other.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie poog om die impak van mikrokrediet op die lewens van arm mense te ondersoek. Daar is verskeie menings oor mikrokrediet as 'n magtige ontwikkelings-meganisme met betrekking tot die sukses daarvan in die ontwikkeling van armes se lewens, en hierdie menings is soms teenstrydig. Maar, armoede is 'n globale verskynsel; dit is 'n probleem wat selfs die rykste nasies ondervind. Hierdie senario, 'n land soos Zambië, ondervind tans 'n groot uitdaging om armoede te verlig of te verminder, want armoede veroorsaak baie probleme soos selfmoorde, ongeletterdheid, werkloosheid en siektes soos depressie, spanning, ens. Om hierdie siektes te beheer, moet armoede vir eers beheer word. Op regerings-, kerklike en ook internasionale vlak, word baie strategieë daagliks geïmplementeer om armoede te beheer. Daarom is die doel van hierdie studie om vas te stel watter rol mikrokrediet tans speel in armoede-verligting in Zambië. Zambië is 'n land wat laer as die gemiddelde beskou word op meeste van die sosiale aanwysers binne Sentraal-Afrika. Sy ekonomiese ongelykhede is ontsettend groot, wat die inheemse plattelandse Lusaka se bevolking ver agterlaat. Met hierdie vertrekpunt, beoog hierdie navorsing om die impak te meet van mikrokrediet op inheemse arm mense in 'n dorpie wat in die armste streek van Zambië geleë is. Die doel is om vas te stel hoe die ekonomiese kapasiteit verander het met verloop van tyd, te danke aan mikrokrediete van 'n mikrofinansiële inrigting. Om 'n multi-dimensionele beeld van hul situasie te verkry, word vier addisionele verwante aspekte ondersoek: die politieke kapasiteit, sosiale asook menslike kapitaal, en geslagsgelykheid. Daarby is 'n korrelasie-analise van die onderlinge verhouding tussen hierdie aspekte en die kerk gedoen. Die resultate is twee-sydig en toon geen algemene korrelasie tussen tyd en ekonomiese kapasiteit, of onder die vier ander aspekte nie. Die veranderlikes wat toeneem oor tyd is: die huidige konstruksie van hul huise, die kwaliteit van hul klere en hul politieke kapasiteit. Maar, die betroubaarheid van die data is in 'n mate twyfelagtig. 'n Analise hiervan dra by tot die deurlopende gesprek oor hoe om impakstudies op mikrofinansiële inrigtings te doen, en ook hoe verskillende aspekte mekaar beïnvloed.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/6553
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