Ms Djani Arzerissa knows her business...

Ms Djani Arzerissa from Togo is a client of UCMECS and the women’s organisation from which UCMECS has grown since 2001. She is a revendeuse or retailer: she buys vegetables, herbs and preserves in large quantities (often in Lomé) and then sells them at Dapaong market. She also manages a storage space for the products she buys.

Djani takes out a loan to be able to buy her products. She sells those products when the prices rise, allowing her to make a profit and repay her loan.


At the time, Djani Arzerissa started with an initial loan of CFA 25,000 (38 euros). Once this was repaid, she took out a new loan every year, each time for a larger amount (her current loan is CFA 1 million - 1,526 euros). This allowed her business to keep growing. She is now one of the main traders at Dapaong market and was even able to build her own house. She rents out part of this house, which in turn gives her extra income.

Before taking out a new loan, Djani “saves” a small amount daily via a tontine system. A UCMECS staff member comes to the market to collect the daily deposit for the tontine. The amount saved represents the “own contribution” for the new loan.

UCMECS has helped Djani not only by granting loans. She also appreciates the indirect support she gets through the agreement between UCMECS and the Mutuelle de Santé, which allows her to keep her medical expenses under control and improve the health care for her family.