Chama

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Description

From the Wikipedia:

"A Chama is an informal cooperative society that is normally used to pool and invest savings by people in East Africa, and particularly Kenya. The chama phenomenon is also referred to as "micro-savings groups". "Chama" (also spelled Kyama by certain tribes) is the Kiswahili word for "group" or "body". The chama phenomenon arose out of the idea of harambee, which means "all together", in the late 1980s and 1990s. Originally, chamas tended to be exclusively women's groups, but as chamas started to grow in sophistication and success, men started participating in chamas as well. The chama structure is used throughout Africa, but is particularly popular in Kenya where the word originated. In Kenya there are estimated to be 300,000 chamas managing a total of KSH 300 billion (USD $3.4 billion) in assets. Chamas are known for their exclusivity. In order to join new members are typically subjected to extensive interviews and must have assurances or guarantees made for them by an existing member. Some sources have estimated that one in three Kenyans are chama members." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chama_(investment))