2018-10-11

Transformation & choice are key to Tanzania’s national financial inclusion strategy 

The  Joint Learning Program (JLP), In-country Implementation and Measuring Progress of Financial Inclusion, wraps up after a series of technical presentations by senior executives of BoT, stakeholders from development organizations, private sector and government entities, field visit, intense group breakouts and knowledge exchange sessions.

 “We promised to work hard to offer you our success stories so that you can share many more success stories and welcome you to Tanzania for another JLP,” said Dr. Bernard Y. Kibesse, Deputy Governor of Financial Stability and congratulated the participants on their dedication and cooperation.

Hosted by Bank of Tanzania (BoT) and the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), the JLP showcased the experience of Tanzania in the development of their second National Financial Inclusion Framework (NFIF), planned for 2018-2022, after successfully implementing the first NFIF (2014-2016).

34 participants, representing 27 AFI member institutions from 25 countries actively participated in the JLP and learnt the strategic approach undertaken by the Tanzanian authorities to establish the second phase of their financial inclusion framework.

“I congratulate Tanzania for the work done in NFIS, I truly believe that the way they have coordinated and involved stakeholders played a pretty huge role, making it an example to follow,” said a participant.

Tanzania’s financial inclusion has evolved from 58 percent in 2013 to 65 percent of the adult population — a feat that is highly commendable by participants. A high proportion of the increase is a result of digital financial services that reduced the use of alternative means of saving and financing.

Throughout the week , participants shared and learned from each other’s country experiences including effective monitoring and evaluating during different states of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) implementation, and the relevance of structuring the leadership and coordination for a successful implementation, taking into account the institutional context of each country. Different models of coordination and leadership were discussed using the experience from Tanzania.

“I consider this JLP is successful because BoT shared not only their successes but their journey which was full of challenges. It is in the challenges that the learnings are and thanks to BoT to sharing those details. This, I think is the core of a ‘joint learning’ where we learn from the lessons of others and thus move faster to achieve goals of financial inclusion,” said Madhurantika Moulick, Head of AFI Capacity Building.

To give participants a deeper understanding into the implementation and the way forward, BoT shared their journey in the enhancement and strong evolution of the national payment system including different aspects of regulatory implementation, technical innovation — and institutional transformation including the financial services providers across the last ten years.

“I have learnt the need to develop a concept paper. This will serve as a guide in developing a national strategy — and more importantly, the steps to be taken in drafting the national financial inclusion strategy and the key thematic areas that need to be recognized. These sessions are really relevant in both development and implementation of the national financial inclusion strategy,” one of the participants commented.

Participants discussed with some of the public and private sector actors about the evolution of mobile financial services, banking agents and the financial innovation led by the FinTech, and the aim of closing the gender gap by enabling different policies fostering women financial inclusion.

“The [national] strategy is about setting a clear objective guided by a vision … and about transformation and choice, and while transforming to approach that vision we need also the participation of different views and inclusiveness,” expressed Charles Assey, Advisor Strategic Management, BoT.

With the growing demand from members on in-country implementation of NFIS, the JLP was designed to focused mostly on the “how” of the NFIS. Sessions were designed to bring out the practical aspects of NFIS that participants can take forward and implement within their own institutions.

Feedback received from a participant stated that “the sessions enhanced my knowledge on the development and implementation of National Financial Inclusion Strategies, and the link between financial inclusion with SDGs and national socio-economic plans.”