Accumulating Savings and Credit Association

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Documented extensively in South Asia by Rutherford, ASCAs are also time-limited, informal microfinance groups. Unlike ROSCAs however, they appoint one of their members to manage an internal fund. Records are kept and surplus lent out. After a pre-agreed period (often 6–12 months) all the loans are called back and the fund, plus accumulated profit, is distributed to the members. [1]

2. In Africa (Kenya):

"A longer-term form of Chama in Kenya is organized on the basis of shares, which members buy to gain ownership of a percentage of the chamas investment or income. These organizations are classified as "Accumulating Savings and Credit Associations" (ASCA). This structure is very similar to a unit trust, however the chama leadership is not compensated for managing the fund, other than the profit on their own investment. Members must usually make a monthly commitment of a minimum investment, and bring their cash to the monthly or weekly meetings. The chama leadership invests the pooled funds in a pre-agreed-upon manner. Commonly, the chama will make loans to members at very high interest rates. 20% per month is typical. Chamas are also known to invest in transportation (taxis, matatus, buses), land, rental housing units, agricultural enterprises, as well as stocks, bonds and other financial products." (

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