The Tunisian Solidarity Bank (BTS) has recently earned the UK based "African Banker" magazine trophy for "micro credit bank of the year" in Washington DC.
The trophy was awarded to the Tunisian bank on the sidelines of the general assembly of the World Bank.
All in all 15 awards were handed out in different categories such as "the bank of the year", the "the banker of the year" and the "micro-financing bank of the year".
The trophies are a token of the recognition of the emergence in Africa of an authentic African banking system.
The Tunisian Solidarity Bank which was set up on December 1997, finances micro-projects for those people who would not normally qualify for a bank loan from commercial banks, due to the lack of assets.
Men and women are eligible for the loan with a maximum interest rate of 5%, and a flexible grace period of 3 to 12 months.
Several African countries such as Mali have followed Tunisia’s model and with the contribution of Tunisian experts, have set up solidarity banks in their countries.