What is Wasasa MFI?
WASASA MFI is one of the fast growing microfinance
institutions in Ethiopia, recently crossing from the
“Medium MFIs” category to the “Large MFIs” category. It
was established in the year 2000 as a “Share Company”
under the Commercial Code of Ethiopia and licensed by
the National Bank of Ethiopia as a “Deposit Taking
Microfinance Institution” under Proclamation No.
626/2009, issued for licensing and supervision of
micro-finance institutions. The objective is to provide
diverse range of financial services, including Savings,
Credit, Micro insurance and advisory services to all
such segments who do not have access to such services
from the mainstream banking.
What is the operational area of Wasasa and where are
the branches located?
Wasasa Operates in rural and peri-urban areas of Oromia
Region in Ethiopia. Currently Wasasa has 28 branch
offices and 20 rural outlets, spread across remote areas
in 36 woredas.
What is the Vision of Wasasa?
The vision of Wasasa MFI is to make money/capital no
more a constraint for the poor.
What is the Mission of Wasasa?
The mission of Wasasa MFI is to provide sustainable
financial services to the active poor in order to employ
capital for poverty alleviation.
What are the products offered by Wasasa?
to Large groups,
Enterprise Loans and
Loans to Low Income Employees.
Savings for borrowers
Savings for all customers:
Insurance for borrowers
How is WASASA different from other MFIs?
At WASASA, the focus is on enabling the economically
active poor to save small amounts out of their incomes
and provide them a mitigation mechanism to cope with
risks such as loss of income at a later date due to
unforeseen events such as drought, disability etc. the
poor are encouraged to save in small amount for their
future requirements as well. This is done by offering
simple and easy to understand products with competitive
interest rates, providing excellent customer service and
also by creating awareness among clients through
customer education programmes. Wasasa also provides
loans to the needy customers through its varied loan
schemes, thus playing the role of a true financial
intermediary, as desired by the regulators.
Why Voluntary Deposits are important to WASASA?
Wasasa is licensed as a deposit taking Financial
Institutional and the savings collected will help Wasasa
to assist more and more economically active poor in
promoting agriculture, small business/enterprise, which
inturn helps the society to generate income and
Difference between Voluntary and Mandatory
The amount is collected to serve as a
collateral for the loans disbursed by Wasasa.
Group borrowers would be required to deposit
amount equal to 10 to 15% of the loan amount
as a security for the loan, which can be
withdrawn only at the end of the loan cycle
on full repayment or towards adjustment of
Interest is credited to the account at
monthly intervals at 5% per annum.
The voluntary savings products are offered
to encourage saving habit among the poor and
to provide them an opportunity to save small
amounts as per their convenience, either as
a shield against future risks or to
accumulate larger sums for specific future
Products have been designed to suit various
customer needs. Passbook savings offers full
liquidity and the customer can deposit any
amount when they have surplus and withdraw
any amount at any time based on their need.
Time deposit and Planned time deposits
enable the customers to save for future use.
They offer higher interest rate than the
These products are purely voluntary and are
not linked to loans, hence can be utilized
by both borrowers and general public.
Interest rates are 6% per annum for pass
book accounts, 6to 7% for planned time
deposits and 6to 8% for time deposits
depending on the period of deposits.
Why should we deposit with Wasasa?
Wasasa has a long and proven track record of reliability
and excellent customer service. The customer confidence
in Wasasa is indicated by the continuously growing
number of customers, which is now more than 68,000! The
money saved by customers at home/informal sources/
friends and relatives is relatively unsafe and does not
yield good returns. Investment in assets, though
yielding good return, is prone to risks and the value
may comedown in case of a urgent need and forced sale.
However, money saved with Wasasa is safe, secure, grows
with the good interest paid by Wasasa and can be
conveniently withdrawn as when needed by the customer.
Further, money saved with Wasasa is also useful for the
society as it is used by Wasasa to help the poor and
needy customers to provide small loans to
increase/improve their incomes by investing in
What is the ownership of Wasasa?
Wasasa is promoted by OSRA (Oromo Self reliance
Association), an NGO actively engaged in the social
development and assisting rural poor in Oromia region in
improving their incomes and reduction of poverty.
Reputed international Development Organisations and
local Banks such as WSM, Ethio-Italian Development
Cooperation, Terrafina, Cordaid, UNCDF, Commercial Bank
of Ethiopia and Awash Bank etc., support Wasasa in its
objective of serving the poor through provision of
financial services. The Rural Financial Intermediation
Programme (RUFIP) of Govt. of Ethiopia, IFAD and other
agencies is also extending support to Wasasa both
through Loan Funds and Technical support.
Will you pay the money when I need it?
Wasasa has designed its savings products based on the
analysis of different needs of customers. The passbook
savings accounts offer unlimited deposits and
withdrawals depending on the need of the client. The
time deposits and planned time deposits, though designed
to accumulate larger sums for future use, can be
withdrawn at any time before their maturity subject to a
small penalty of interest and advance notice in case of
higher amounts. To protect the interest of customers,
only small withdrawals will be permitted in the field,
where as to withdraw larger amounts, customers need to
visit the branch.
What is difference between Commercial Banks & Wasasa?
Wasasa operates in many remote locations in
Works with Poor people.
Service at door steps
Personalised, Fast and secure service
Higher rate of interest on Deposits.
Collects small amounts of savings from near
to customer location.
Loans are offered in small amounts which are
suitable for most customers in rural areas.
The collections are done at customer
Banks generally offer their services in
bigger towns and to urban and semi urban
Door step services are not available
Loan processing and Deposits take longer
time. Loans are generally for large amounts,
Customer must be visit to branch location
for deposit purpose also.
Lower rate of interest on Deposits.
Planned time deposit facility at door step
facility not available at banks
What is Wasasa’s approach to encourage
savings by its clients?
Savings is one of the major products of Wasasa.
The company pays due emphasis on the importance
of regular savings. Borrowers must demonstrate a
pattern of savings as part of their
qualification for loans. Savings are required
during the life of each client’s loan
relationship with Wasasa. Wasasa also encourages
voluntary savings both from borrowers and
non-borrowers. To encourage the saving habit of
the society, Wasasa pays interest at 6% and
above, which is generally higher than the
interest offered by commercial banks. Wasasa
also provides customer education to improve
their savings habits, and manage their loans
properly without falling into debt trap.
How does Wasasa make money?
Though Wasasa is established with profound
social objectives, it believed in financial
viability from the beginning. It ensures that
all its activities are financially sustainable,
so that it can remain in service of the poor.
The sources of funds for Wasasa have been
contributions of share holders, grant funds,
bank loans, savings mobilized from public and
surpluses generated by Wasasa through its
operations. Till date, no dividend has been paid
to share holders and all the profits have been
ploughed back into the business to enable it to
provide loan capital to more new clients. Wasasa
ensures that its services are properly priced to
yield a fair margin for Wasasa to cover the
costs of the funds mobilized, the costs of
services being provided, offer a fair return to
investors. Since its vision is to become
self-sustained organization that supports
itself, the company gives due attention to
How do I approach Wasasa to open a Savings
Please contact your nearest branch or rural
outlet. Further, we have a large number of field
staff covering distant and remote areas, whom
you can approach. The branches and the field
staff would advise you on products suitable to
you and help in completing the minimum
formalities to start saving with Wasasa..