By Anna Catharina Maaten
Mr. Thamsanqa Sibiya is the Regional Director and the Director of Governance at Opportunity International, an organization providing financial solutions and training to people in need. Their goal is to empower people living in poverty so that they can work their way out of poverty. He is the chair of boards of financial institutions in different countries, such as Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi and previously in Kenya, Tanzania, and he was a deputy chairman in Rwanda.
"Opportunity International provides people with loans so they can start their own business," Mr. Sibiya explained. "It gives people who feel they are ready and capable the financial support needed to work their way out of poverty.".
Mr. Sibiya said that Opportunity Internationals mission is to end poverty.
"The focus of Opportunity International has always been providing finance and training to people who wanted to start new businesses. We are now investing heavily in agriculture, and have an agriculture fund providing technological expertise to smaller farmers as well as helping them with financial aid."
Opportunity International decided to look into Agriculture Finance because given the right financial tools and training, farmers can sustainably reduce hunger and food insecurity.
Opportunity International has also created solutions to specific challenges confronting famers, for example low quality resources, and limited agricultural skills.
"Opportunity International provides loans and creates savings accounts, provides training, and provides access to better resources and crop markets," Mr Sibiya said. "Through this we are empowering famers all over Africa so they can increase the quality of their crops and the size of their harvest."
Mr. Sibiya said Opportunity International is directly relevant to JoMUN's theme of Connecting Africa.
"We work in multiple African countries and focus on improving and fighting poverty in all of them," he said. "People that ask for loans in setting up a business automatically get training and a mobile phone, connecting them to the world and bringing them into the 21st century.
"This helps Opportunity International connect Africans with each other and to the world."