Zimbabwe: RBZ launches new Financial Inclusion Strategy

Mar 16, 2016

It is looking to increase the proportion of banked adults to at least 60 per cent of the population.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe said it is aiming to increase the proportion of banked adults to at least 60 per cent of the population by 2020 from 30 per cent in 2014.

It is also looking to increase the proportion of financially included small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) to 80 per cent by 2020 as part of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy, which was officially launched last week.

To help attain these goals, the RBZ said it will set up a $10 million SME fund with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development by March 31st.

Every banking institution has been given to June 30th to set up a dedicated business unit. Banks will also have to set their annual target lending to SMEs categorised by gender, enterprise size and business sector among other variables and submit their targets to the RBZ.

RBZ governor John Mangudya told the Herald it was important that Zimbabwe pushes for higher financial inclusion as it was one of the drivers of economic growth.

"We cannot increase fiscal space when key players such as smallholder farmers, women, youth, micro-small to medium enterprises are outside the formal banking system."

The National Financial Inclusion Strategy thus includes new measures to promote access to finance for women and farmers, to boost mobile banking usage and to improve financial literacy along with insurance coverage.ADNFCR-2976-ID-801814675-ADNFCR