Documents to boost financial inclusion in Zambia launched


Government has launched two documents meant to enhance the financial inclusion agenda in Zambia.

These are the National Financial Inclusion Strategy II (2024-2028) and the 2017-2022 National Financial Inclusion Strategy Review Report.

Finance and National Planning Minister, Situmbeko Musokotwane, said the launch of these documents reaffirmed government’s commitment to enhancing the financial inclusion agenda in Zambia.

Musokotwane at the launch of the documents in Lusaka on Wednesday noted that the documents represented an important milestone towards a realisation of the vision of having a financially included Zambian population by 2030.

“You will therefore, agree with me that financial inclusion contributes to financial stability and financial health through the diversification of financial assets especially among such segments as the underserved or unserved,” he said.

At the same function, United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator in Zambia, Beatrice Mutali, observed the need to deepen access to certain financial services such as credit, insurance and investments, in order for inclusion to become a more meaningful metric.

Mutali said this was despite Zambia recording growth in the uptake of mobile money services.

The UN, she said, had developed initiatives together with the public and private sector, which aimed at driving financial inclusion and the expansion and deepening of the financial sector in Zambia.

“These include: supporting the digitalization of utility payments, supporting financial education efforts, developing enabling regulatory instruments for financial innovation and derisking lending to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs),” Mutali said.

Meanwhile, Achim Fock, World Bank Country Manager for Zambia, called for stakeholder collaboration in enhancing financial consumer protection and capability, which he said was aptly identified as a cross-cutting area in the NFIS.

Fock stated that it was imperative to harness the potentials of innovation and collaboration to further drive infrastructure enhancements, thereby encouraging greater uptake of digital financial services and creation of more inclusive products.

“These efforts should be backed by suitable regulatory frameworks to address risks linked with emerging products, with a focus on averting the unintended consequences of digital development that could worsen inequality.

“Additionally, we recognise that various initiatives led by the government, development partners and the private sector are currently in place, targeting a wide range of development issues, including poverty, education and economic empowerment,” he concluded.

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