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Credit Between CulturesFarmers, Financiers, and Misunderstanding in Africa$
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Parker Shipton

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780300116038

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300116038.001.0001

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Self-Help with Help

Self-Help with Help

Banking Between Charity and Usury

(p.179) Chapter 11 Self-Help with Help
Credit Between Cultures

Parker Shipton

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on the subject of credit and discredit, and attempts to explain how something as slight, delicate, and nimble seeming as microenterprise and microfinance could become big, official, and bureaucratic even while charities morph into aggressive, profit-taking banks. In the 1970s and 1980s, a wave of private aid organizations turned to microfinance as a way of reaching the people deemed economically promising poor. A big question among development program planners in the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s was whether aid agencies, public or private, could somehow link up with local financial organizations such as contribution clubs to use them as conduits for larger loans or savings than the latter customarily handle. The chapter also attempts to trace the fine line between self-help and help-self, and that between profiting and profiteering.

Keywords:   private aid organizations, microfinance, development program, aid agencies, loans

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