MOA Signing OTDF & Mibank

MOA Signing OTDF & MiBank

Port Moresby 12th March, 2024

Good morning, all (Daba namona)

It is a pleasure to be here this morning to sign the MOA with Ok Tedi Development Foundation and the Associations who are forming part of the scheme.

I note the agreement is to provide credit or loan facilities to the small business women and men who would not ordinarily have access to finance, to enable them to play a more meaningful and active role in SME development. But this is also about wealth creation and giving our citizens at the bottom of the economic pyramid a helping hand.

This of course fits well with our corporate mission at MiBank. We balance commerciality with our social mission and seek to partner with institutions such as Ok Tedi Development Corporation who have similar values to us. 

Mr Andrew Balele Mari (Left), Executive Manager Program Services, Ok Tedi Development Foundation. Mr Tony Westaway (Right), Chief Executive Officer, MiBank.

After all, the genesis of MiBank was through a partnership between the Australian government, Asian Development Bank and The PNG government to provide micro finance as a way to alleviate poverty. Therefore, our target customers are those at the bottom of the economic pyramid. Whether the be rural dwellers, women or youth, subsistence farmers; that part of the population that liespredominately outside the two main centers of Port Moresby and Lae. As a result, this initiative that we are launching today takes us back to our roots.

It’s also topical given international women’s day was only last Friday and National Women’s Day is coming up shortly. I note that the associations signing the agreement today have a strong gender focus and so does MiBank. Ten years ago, only 15% of Bank accounts were held by women and it was verry rare that women had access to credit. Well, that’s changed ant at MiBank over 50% of our customers are and we know from our experience that women have good repayment history. Providing women with the tools to be able to commence businesses makes good economic sense.

To summarise I would like to thank the team at Ok Tedi Development Foundation who will be managing and coordinating the scheme. My team at MiBank for their input and most importantly I thank the CMCA women associations from the North, Middle and South Fly Region of Western Province for their contributions.

MiBank is represented with a Branch Office in Kiunga and Agents at Daru, Kiunga and Tabubil, and we have a desire to further extend the agent network in Western province where it is practical to do so.

We look forward to working with you all to make this scheme successful.

Thank you