Who do you work with?
AET has links with and works with a range of other partners, including:
In Zambia, we work with a wide range of partners and agencies – in government, with other NGOs, and with other local groups and communities.
Are you a political organisation?
AET is apolitical. We don’t support, or work on behalf of, any political party or grouping. That’s not to say we don’t have a view on some of the burning issues of the day that relate to Africa. But these are typically big issues, and we are a community organisation. For example, we fully support the principles underlying the “Make Poverty History” campaign; but the way we show our practical support is to make sure that our African partners are empowered, not by lobbying.
Microcredit – why loan, why not give?
AET recognises that people only need a helping hand to make a difference. It may be surprising that the nature of this helping hand is through loans, not one-off gifts and handouts. But microcredit – small-scale lending to entrepreneurs who are too poor to qualify for bank loans – has a track record as the way to help people to help themselves. In developing countries, microcredit enables poor people who lack the collateral to secure bank loans to become self-employed and generate income. For microcredit to work, it must:
- As an aim, help poor families to help themselves to overcome poverty. AET offers credit to create self-employment for income-generating activities.
- As a system, be sustainable. Although we do not rely on collateral (i.e., financial backing) from loan recipients, we must be able to work with them. We help them with the basics of business practice – book-keeping, and business planning.
- As a process, be manageable for loan recipients. Loanees are required to repay, but interest rates are consistent with bank charges – not what the so-called “parallel market” (loan sharks) ask. Repayment ensures that the loan fund is sustainable. All loans are repaid in installments at agreed intervals.