> Posted by Jeffrey Riecke, Communications Assistant, CFI
A few weeks ago Tanzania launched a National Financial Inclusion Framework, which includes the ambitious goal of expanding access to more than half the country’s population by 2016. As of 2012, 17 percent of Tanzanians had access to formal financial services accounts, compared to an average of 24 percent for all of Sub-Saharan Africa.
H.M. Queen Máxima of the Netherlands in her role as UN Special Advocate on Inclusive Finance for Development joined the framework’s launch event, and emphasized how the effort builds on the country’s recent national commitments. At the G20 Leaders Summit in 2012, Tanzania was one of 17 countries that pledged to create a national financial inclusion strategy. It was also one of the first countries to make a Maya Declaration commitment.
Despite disappointing account ownership figures, the country has achieved progress in other areas. Between September 2012 and 2013, access to mobile money services increased from 63 to 90 percent nationally, with nearly 43 percent of the population actively using a mobile money service.
The national framework, alongside the goal of 50 percent account ownership by 2016, aims to achieve 50 percent regular usage, 25 percent of adults with at least two weeks’ worth of income in formal savings accounts, and 25 percent of adults with electronic personal financial records.
The framework is organized around overcoming inclusion barriers – which span supply side, demand side, structural and regulatory – through actions in several key priority areas. These include:
- Proximity: Enhancing and implementing access channels, such as agent banking, mobile telephony financial services, point of sales, stand-alone ATMs, etc., and a regulatory framework that creates an environment conducive to this infrastructure
- Robust electronic platforms: Improving and developing information and communication technology (ICT) payment platforms that facilitate cost effective access to financial services
- Robust information and easy client on-boarding: Implementing, monitoring, and enhancing use of credit bureaus, proportionate Know Your Client (KYC) requirements, and improved identification systems that are linked to financial systems and credit bureaus
- Informed customers and consumer protection financial consumer protection mechanisms and financial education strategy
The framework also includes a monitoring mechanism, to be carried out by the country’s National Financial Inclusion Council policy body, to ensure that the necessary stakeholders implement the priority actions.
To access the entire framework, click here.
Image credit: The Alliance for Financial Inclusion
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