13 December 2017

Banco Central do Sao Tome e Principe (BCSTP) prepares to launch financial inclusion and financial literacy demand-side survey

Banco Central do São Tomé e Príncipe (BCSTP), an active member of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) network since 18 November, 2015, is preparing to launch a demand-side survey for financial literacy, and financial inclusion to individuals, and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

The results from the survey will be correlated to the main policy objectives for designing the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) during the first quarter of 2018 and are expected to enable initial discussions for NFIS design and implementation.

During a recent technical mission to São Tomé e Príncipe, AFI assisted BCSTP in the development of their demand-side survey with the goal to inform and guide their national financial inclusion strategy. BCSTP is part of the Portuguese-speaking countries that were recently part of an agreement between AFI and the Bank of Portugal.

Additionally, BCSTP made its Maya Declaration commitment during the 2017 Global Policy Forum with the following targets:

  • conduct the financial literacy and financial inclusion demand-side survey by 2018; and
  • start the development of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy in 2019

The mission was complemented with assistance from Insight2impact (i2i) — a resource centre that generates insights through data in financial inclusion that has been following-up with BCSTP on the development of the demand-side survey questionnaires with AFI during the Financial Inclusion Data Working Group (FIDWG) meetings.

The mission included meetings with the Department of Statistics and the Governor’s Advisor from BCSTP, as well as with the National Accounts Department and Financial Statistics Department of São Tomé e Príncipe’s National Institute of Statistics (INE), with three main objectives:

  1. To agree in the sampling framework and sample size of the national demand-side survey for financial literacy and financial inclusion to individuals and MSMEs (Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises).
  2. To review and provide technical assistance of two questionnaires: the family/individual and the MSMEs financial literacy and financial inclusion survey questionnaires.
  3. To review other aspects of the national survey implementation.

The sampling framework was reviewed and agreed upon. The respondent selection methodology, and the two questionnaires, one for the adult individuals, and the other for the MSMEs, were reviewed and reframed for piloting and further implementation.

As an immediate next step, BCSTP and INE are starting the pilot testing phase to review and adjust the final questionnaires before launching the national scale data collection process. Additional assistance in linking the demand-side survey results to Sao Tome e Principe’s policy implementation of the NFIS is expected to follow in the next coming months. One of the positive outcomes from this process is the ownership, buy-in, and technical expertise developed by BCSTP and INE that will enable the sustainability of future financial inclusion demand-side assessments.

In early 2015, demand-side surveys were held in Fiji, Samoa and Solomon Islands, jointly supported by AFI and the Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP), eventually expanding to the remaining five Pacific countries. In addition, other AFI member countries including Madagascar and Senegal have recently developed their demand-side surveys through AFI support.

AFI and its partners are committed with Sao Tome e Principe and the rest of its members to enable technical guidance and knowledge products in the development of financial inclusion assessments to guide informed policy implementation.


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