Sustainable Livelihoods Project, Angola - Microfinance for Urban Poverty Reduction

How successful has the Sustainable Livelihoods Project been in Luanda?
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This paper discusses the Sustainable Livelihoods Project (SLP) in Luanda, Angola, that is being implemented by Development Workshop Angola and One World Action. The paper presents some of the characteristics of Luanda's regional economy:

  • Inflow of poor people on account of migration from other areas;
  • Large proportion of the population existing below the poverty line;
  • Most people working in the informal sector;
  • Incidence of under employment and unemployment.

SLP has been successful in reaching a significant number of people employed in the informal sector, and in providing credit to them successfully using the following strategies:

  • Group based lending methods;
  • Best practises from the different microfinance approaches;
  • Poverty targeting such as means test screening.

The author concludes that SLP has been successful in achieving its objectives in the initial phase. However, carrying it forward would require:

  • Building on client aspirations to identify better products and services;
  • Integrating gender awareness and leadership skills through training;
  • Facilitating groups to become a sustainable forum for discussions and debate;
  • Raising broader developmental issues in microfinance.