Developing microfinance in Arlit
AREVA is supporting Crédit Mutuel in establishing branches in disadvantaged regions, particularly in Niger. This initiative enabled the opening of a branch in Arlit in 2008.
Setting up a micro-credit agency in Arlit (Niger)
AREVA is supporting the creation of a micro-finance agency initiated by the inhabitants of Arlit, where the group has uranium mines. The finance released by this expedient will go to help women who want to start businesses.
By enabling the world’s most disadvantaged people to develop private-sector initiatives, microfinance is a powerful tool in the fight against poverty.
Crédit Mutuel, a French banking institution, is leading initiatives to support development in emerging countries through the Centre International de Crédit Mutuel (CICM), an organization that has acted according to mutualist values and principles for 30 years.
The CICM, which has been active in Niger since 2006, set up a network of 6 funds called Crédit Mutuel du Niger in Niamey, with plans to expand to other urban centers in the country.
In addition to assisting small savers and promoters of modest business activities, this institution helps staff from local businesses manage their finances and, when necessary, prepares them for training in a new vocation.
Encouraging local economic initiatives
The promotion of economic activity in Arlit, an urban community of 80,000 people located in northern Niger, is a key focus for AREVA.
The group is actually a partner in many private-sector initiatives, particularly those that help develop revenue-generating activities such as:
- small-scale animal husbandry,
- small-scale domestic processing.
Women's groups, trade associations, livestock farmers and small businessmen are important components of the region’s population. The absence of financial services and formal access to microfinance, however, constrains the growth of their activities and therefore local and regional economic development.
To remedy this situation, AREVA supported the establishment of a Crédit Mutuel du Niger branch in Arlit in 2007. The branch opened its doors in June 2008.