If the initiative succeeds it will be one of its kind on the African continent. (Above) Dr. Ruto signed the gazettement of Kenya’s most popular affirmative action fund, the Hustler Fund.
Unverified reports indicate that by midday on Wednesday over 160,000 youth had attempted to access the fund through the SMS short code provided by the government *254#. Coincidentally the numbers also stand for Kenya’s International Phone dialing code.
Typical of Kenyans the excitement is coupled with satirical and hilarious online activities with memes indicating what to expect from Kenyans after midnight tonight.
Earlier today President Dr. William Samoei Ruto said the fund will provide everyone irrespective of their past credit status a second chance to redeem their creditworthiness.
In the first half of this year, Kenyans borrowed an average of Sh1.6 billion daily from Safaricom’s overdraft service, Fuliza. The overdraft service underwritten by NCBA and KCB banks hit a record KES 290 billion between January to June, up from KES 220.38 billion disbursed in the same period last year.
The increased dependence on Fuliza and other digital lending platforms that offer short-term loans has been attributed to reduced income amid the rising cost of living.
Some envisaged reactions from youth once they access the fund.
As is the case with other credit plans, the Hustler Fund has terms of repayment which apply if the customer defaults. They will face penalties including an incremental adjustment of the interest rate on the loan to 9.5% from 8% per annum 15 days after the date of default.