VSLAS (Village Saving & Loan Associations) - Comoros
Village Savings and Credit Association (AVEC)
In the Comoros, the Association Villageoise d'Epargne et Crédit (AVEC) is based on the existing tontine model. The tontine known in the Comoros under the name of Mtsanguo is an association of people who, united by family ties, friendships, and profession meet at more or less variable intervals in order to pool their savings in for the resolution of individual or collective problems .
Highly developed in urban and rural areas, tontines are an informal practice of savings and credit formed by groups of women who undertake, on a rotational basis, to pay a predetermined sum at a given frequency. Each member in turn receives the dividends from the invested capital and the tontine ends when each of the participants has received their share. There are tontines for all amounts of money and operating weekly, monthly or according to the period fixed by its members.
In general, tontines allow women to meet current expenses, to meet social expenses , or to secure the capital needed to start a Micro-Enterprise.
This tontine phenomenon has an informal character and thus has the following characteristics:
- Absence of conditions : no authorization to request, no steps to take, no guarantees to provide, no formalities to complete, no deadlines to respect;
- Absence of management costs : the administration is reduced to a minimum, a notebook where the names and the sums paid and returned are entered is sufficient;
- Absence of a fixed framework: the tontines can bring together a few members or a few hundred and last a few weeks or several years .