• Cote d’Ivoire
  • Resources
  • Access to Finance
  • VSLAS (Village Saving & Loan Associations)

Côte d'Ivoire: Brief overview of VSLAs


  • WITH : Village Credit Savings Association
  • GEC : Savings and Credit Group


    • Group of 20 to 30 people by self-selection and self-management who save on a regular basis (weekly, fortnightly, monthly) => possibility of saving 5 shares
    • Annual and democratic election of the management committee composed of 5 members => existence of internal regulations
    • Holding of the meeting according to the same arrangement during the cycle (number assigned to each member who sits down by order)
    • Funds managed transparently in a cash register with three keys held by three different members
    • Allows members to make loans repayable with interest within a maximum period of 3 months
    • Provides members with insurance (solidarity fund)
    • Has a cycle lasting 9 or 12 months
    • Ends with the proportional sharing of capital

Update in 2019

  • Number of WITH in Ivory Coast: 637
  • Amount of Capital: 203,744,657
  • Loan amount: 15,306,711
  • Impact of VSLAs on an example of beneficiaries:

16,470 Orphans Vulnerable Children (OVC) in school

3,428 apprenticed

7,000 Orphans Vulnerable Children (OVC) beneficiaries of health care

518 in Psychosocial follow-up

3,378 in Protection

350 in Prevention

General information on VSLAs

In Côte d'Ivoire, it is necessary to put in place development policies that take into account the disparities between men and women in order to contribute to a better balance in society; Hence certain strategies contributing to a real empowerment of women to enable them to become development actors in their own right.

75% of them live below the poverty line,

63.2% of women are illiterate,

96% of women live in rural areas.

Why VSLAs / GECs?

  • Multiple socio-economic problems of vulnerable people impacting their quality of life and survival.
  • Links between access to basic social services and household income.
  • Economic Strengthening of Households ensures the satisfaction of needs such as: food security, schooling of children, access to health care, etc.

VSLAs allow members to self-finance their IGAs and thus increase their income with a view to financial empowerment.

VSLAs give members the culture of savings.

VSLAs make it possible to

  • transparency in the savings system
  • transparency in the statement of funds.

Who can do VSLA?

  • quotFamilies in miseryquot: little or no income, no management of money, little or no expenses
  • “Families struggling to make ends meet”: Irregular income, poor money management, irregular spending
  • quotFamilies ready to growquot (economically): irregular income, adequate money management, consistent expenses

Main Reasons for Credits

  • Creation of Income Generating Activities (IGA)
  • Diversification of activities
  • Business expansion
  • Personal emergency (medical)
  • Consumption (food, rent, bill)
  • Capital increase of their income-generating activity
  • Sustainability of IGAs
  • etc

The benefits of Savings and Loan Groups (GEC) (1)

  • Self esteem
  • Team spirit
  • Upgrading of social status
  • Fulfillment
  • Leadership building
  • Well-being of OVC and their families
  • Member autonomy
  • Easy access to savings
  • Harmony in the household
  • Solidarity in the group
  • Strengthening ties in the community

The benefits of Savings and Loan Groups (GEC) (2)

  • Creation of a solidarity fund
  • Improved standard of living
  • Easy borrowing
  • Experience sharing
  • Allow families of OVC to save
  • Creation of IGA
  • Diversification and expansion of their activities
  • Start an activity
  • Family Empowerment
  • Reducing household vulnerability
  • Expansion of IGAs

Lessons learned

  • The VSLAs have given the culture of savings to the different families (empowerment of women, contribution of women to household expenses, development of women, etc.)
  • VSLAs have enabled families to have an activity, expand it and/or diversify it
  • The follow-up of the GEC/AVEC led to a harmony in the group
  • This process has encouraged the involvement of members in the activities of the CS
  • Enthusiasm aroused with local authorities

success story

Lady TF resides in Divo. She is the mother of 04 children whose father has left the family home. Before the start of the GEC, TF did not carry out any activity. Encouraged by her mother, she joined the AVEC Eklohenou and saved in order to be able to take out a loan to carry out an activity. She obtained during the first credit meeting a loan of 30,000F in order to sell meat to restaurant owners. After a difficult start, the activity began to bring profits. Today, thanks to this activity, she manages to provide 3 meals a day for her family, to send her children to school on her own and to meet the health costs for herself and her children. She has more self-confidence, feels more assured and approaches life more cheerfully.

Contact information :


State Doctor of Medicine

Ministry of Women, Family and Children

Coordinating Director of the PNOEV - PI project MFFE/PEPFAR

Phone: (+225) 22413986

email: pnoev.amethier@yahoo.com