The government of Zambia recently initiated a National Financial Inclusion Strategy with support from the World Bank Group (WBG), a multilateral institution seeking to improve the living standards of people in developing countries. The strategy is linked with a Financial Sector Development Policy and a Financial Capability Survey Report in an effort to promote “universal access” to a greater diversity of financial products. The Finance Minister of Zambia, Felix Mutati, said of the strategy, “It will enable individuals to use the right financial services to make plans and manage risk, and it will help firms gain access to affordable financing to help them facilitate innovation and growth, and create employment.”
The program has three goals to be met by 2022: (1) increase “formal” financial inclusion from 38 percent to 70 percent; (2) boost overall financial inclusion from 59 percent to 80 percent; and (3) raise the number of “financial access points” to at least 7 for every 10,000 adults.
WBG encompasses (1) the World Bank, which consists of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Development Association; (2) the International Finance Corporation (IFC); (3) the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency; and (4) the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes. As of 2016, WBG is comprised of 189 member nations with commitments of USD 60 billion to 12,700 loans, grants, equity investments and guarantees to its member countries and private businesses.
By Aleks Marceau, Research Associate
Sources and additional information
Zambian government home page:
World Bank home page:
MicroCapital on World Bank efforts to increase financial inclusion via technology:
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