H.M. Queen Máxima, BOT Gov. Ndulu celebrate launch of Tanzania’s national financial inclusion framework

2013-12-13

Tanzania joined a growing number of nations who are highlighting the key role of financial inclusion in economic development with today’s launch of a national financial inclusion framework.  H.M. Queen Máxima of the Netherlands in her role as UN Special Advocate of Inclusive Finance for Development was on hand to help mark the event along with Bank of Tanzania (BOT) Governor Benno Ndulu and His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Gharib Bilal, the Vice President of the United Republic of Tanzania.

“Tanzania was one of 17 forward-looking countries that pledged to create a national strategy to achieve financial inclusion at the G20 Leaders Summit in 2012. And it was one of the first to articulate its financial inclusion goals under the Alliance for Financial Inclusion’s Maya Declaration two years ago,” said H.M. Queen Máxima. “These commitments are driving a global movement to make financial inclusion a reality.”

The creation of Tanzania’s national financial inclusion framework has been a priority for BOT. A member of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) since 2009, BOT has been a financial inclusion champion and a recognized leader in the field for many years. With strong support from Governor Ndulu, BOT has been active in AFI working groups, knowledge exchanges and regional efforts such as the African Mobile Phone Financial Services Policy Initiative (AMPI), as well as being one of the first AFI members to make a financial inclusion commitment under the Maya Declaration. The Bank has also been heavily involved in capacity building programs such as the recent Financial Inclusion International Week (IWFI) held in Brazil. Through these and other peer learning efforts, internationally, regional and nationally, BOT has built a strong foundation of expertise upon which it has created this national framework.

In his opening remarks Governor Ndulu highlighted his firm belief that financial inclusion provides clear tangible benefits to both individuals and enterprises, while contributing to financial sector development and overall economic growth and stability.

AFI Executive Director Alfred Hannig, who attended the opening session, was pleased to see another of the Maya Declaration commitments becoming part of a national framework. “It demonstrates how global commitments can effectively translate into concrete implementation on the national level,” said Mr. Hannig. “The way Tanzania is organizing for the implementation of the financial inclusion framework will offer valuable insights for other AFI members who have also committed to national financial inclusion objectives.”

Tanzania’s framework will focus on several priority areas including proximity, payment platforms, infrastructure, and consumer protection, with an overall goal of having at least 50 percent of Tanzania’s population with access to formal financial services by 2016. The framework will be guided by seven principles: using market-based solutions, innovative affordable and e-delivery channels, proportionate regulatory frameworks, consumer protections and literacy, a coordinated approach, private/public partnerships, and a focus on improving lives, welfare and productivity.

The framework will be implemented by three levels of committees made up of members from government ministries and the private sector, with BOT serving as the coordinating body.

“The AFI Network has enabled us to gain knowledge on financial inclusion through peer learning and peer pressure,” said Governor Ndulu. “The framework is a commitment voice from financial inclusion stakeholders in Tanzania from the private and public sector, who are here present today … We therefore expect that the official launch of the framework shall build more impetus to fulfill our objective of improving the level of financial inclusion in Tanzania.”

 Further details on Tanzania’s National Financial Inclusion Framework can be found here.