Christian organisation to form bank

HARARE - An International Christian economic alliance movement, Marketplace Calling International (MCI), is planning to establish a financial services institution to fund development in Africa.

MCI founder Zienzile Dillion shared the vision with some key members of the clergy and business leaders at a business networking and empowerment forum hosted by the organisation in the capital last week.

Dennis Dillon, husband to Zienzile, told the Financial Gazette on the sidelines of the meeting said the organisation plans to mobilise resources for the capitalisation of the bank through a pooled fund.

“We have been talking around the idea of pooling resources and leveraging those resources,” he said.

“Most banks really begin with a group of people agreeing to pooling their monies together and putting them in one collective place that will eventually be known as a bank and then from that collective pool of money, monies are then extended as loans to individuals, particularly those with interest in starting and growing businesses,” Dennis said

He further indicated that the fund, which has been given the name Rise up Africa Fund, will encourage a break away from the tradition of overreliance on social service programmes.  

“The Rise up Africa Fund is designed to empower, but not through social service programmes.

“One of the problems that has greatly impacted our growth as a people is our over obsession with social agendas.

“We are simply saying that if we begin to focus on economic agendas, economic issues, if we focus on commerce, if we focus on business formation and business development, then through our own business endeavours, we can impact on our own social circumstances as opposed to sitting around waiting for people to give to us and accepting handouts,” Dennis added.

MCI was founded nine years ago by Zimbabwean-born Zienzile to create synergy among Christians in business.

The organisation, which has more than 10 chapters across Africa, Europe and North America, has seen great strides and progress in various communities where it has a presence.

“We are seeing businesses empowered, the whole concept is small business owners are able to get up,” Dennis said.  

Zienzile has more than 30 years of experience in banking including regional and international work attachments at institutions such as the World Bank and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

She has held key positions in various financial institutions including The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe; Standard Bank Africa; Ubank and Absa.

Currently, she is the chief executive of Carmel Global Capital, an investment bank based in New York. — The Financial Gazette

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