BoT-AFI Joint Learning Program - Opening remarks from AFI Deputy Executive Director, Norbert Mumba

2018-10-09

BoT-AFI Joint Learning Program,
Monday, 8 September 2018
Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

Opening Remarks by Norbert Mumba, Deputy Executive Director, AFI


Dr. Bernard Y. Kibesse - Deputy Governor, Financial Stability and Deepening, Bank of Tanzania (BoT)

Mr. Phajo Dorjee - Deputy Governor, Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan

Dr. Khatibu Kazungu - Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Planning

Mr. Ali Juma Khamis - Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Trade and Industry

Mrs. Nangi Massawe - Chair of NFIF Secretariat, and Chair of AFI’s Financial Inclusion Peer Learning Group

Participants from AFI member institutions

Colleagues from BoT

Colleagues from AFI

Habari za asubuhi. Ni furaha kuona wewe wote

It is my honor to welcome you on behalf of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion, AFI, to the Joint Learning Program on In-country Implementation and Measuring Progress of Financial Inclusion Strategies, co-hosted with BoT.

I wish to thank BoT for hosting this important event and take this opportunity to thank the Deputy Permanent Secretaries and Deputy Governor for gracing this event.  It is of particular pleasure for me to be in Tanzania for this event as BOT has demonstrated remarkable leadership on implementation of National financial Inclusion Strategy in the AFI Network.

Tanzania has made very good progress in promoting financial inclusion while leveraging technology. Besides its own progress, BoT has been very active in sharing its learnings and experiences and has taken up several leadership roles such as.  

  • Chair of the AFI Board from 2016-2017 (Governor of BoT, Prof. Benno Ndulu). Which was a critical phase to consolidate AFI as an independent organisation.
  • Establishment of AFI’s Regional Initiative for the African Continent, African Mobile Policy Initiative (AMPI) in March 2013 in Zanzibar. Renamed as African Financial Inclusion Policy Initiative (AfPI) in 2017, in response to the expanding focus of financial inclusion policy in African moving beyond mobile phone financial services. BOT is the current Vice Chair of the Board of AfPI.
  • Chair of Financial Inclusion Strategy Peer Learning Group or FISPLG. It is worth mentioning that Mrs Nangi Massawe, who has also been instrumental in the designing of this event is the current chair of FISPLG and she and several BoT colleagues have actively shared BoT’s experiences at various global events.

Capacity building of the staff of AFI’s member institutions is a core service that AFI offers. AFI’s trainings are based on a peer learning model and Joint Learning Programme, as the name suggests, is probably one the best examples of how it works.  

During this week, BoT will lead us through their journey of developing and implementing the first National Financial Inclusion Framework from 2014 to 2016, the review of its achievements and approach which was undertaken at the end of the implementation and then share the design of the second NFIF, implementation of which, is planned from 2018-2022. While these learning forums are designed to share the achievements of network institutions, a key objective is also to learn from the challenges faced, failures encountered, so that other members have a safer and faster route to financial inclusion. I urge you to take this opportunity to learn from this team of 38 participants from 25 countries representing 27 institutions and take forward the work of your institution.

I urge you to take advantage of the diversity of members present gather insight on best approaches to effective NFIS strategies. The most important takeaway from this should be; the need to increase access to quality financial services and linking NFIS to sustainable national development goals. During national strategy implementation, we need to remind ourselves of the need to address the gender gap, financial inclusion for forcibly displaced persons that now form an integral part of our communities, the impact of climate change and need for sustainable financial inclusion policies. We are intensifying our work on financial inclusion and climate change and AFI and the Reserve Bank of Fiji will host a forum in this regard. Members seeking to integrate climate change mitigation policies into NFIS are encouraged to attend this event which is facilitate by the funding from the German Ministry of Environment.

I get the sense that BOT’s approach to scaling up financial inclusion is taken a similar path. We note that NFIF initially focused on establishing required infrastructure to accelerate access to financial services which led to increase of percentage of adults with access formal financial services from 58% in 2013 to 65% in 2017 as well as a reduction in the usage of informal financial services from 16% to 7% in the same period. Adoption of digital financial services and a collaborative approach involving multi stakeholders had a key contribution to this success.

AFI’s current strategy increasingly focuses on the impact of financial inclusion on the over all improvement in the quality of life of an individual and not merely on one’s financial life. Thus, the new approach touches people at both individual level and as part of productive workforce through micro, small and medium enterprises. The strive is to help promote an ecosystem that supports innovative, responsible and secure financial services that are tailormade to individual consumer needs.

We believe an enabling ecosystem essentially requires a holistic approach to financial inclusion involving a diverse range of stakeholders with clear roles, responsibilities and commitments. This of course is then supported by a robust monitoring and evaluation framework that ensures that progress is in the desired direction and on time. NFIF II is aligned to this approach and is a perfect example of a strategy which focuses on enhanced usage and improved quality by focusing on designing more customer-oriented products and services.

Allen Mulally says “what I found over the years is the most important thing is for a team to come together over a compelling vision, a comprehensive strategy for achieving the vision, and then a relentless implementation plan.” I dare add relentless monitoring and evaluation framework to measure progress.

AFI’s phase three strategy (2019-2023) is focussed on establishing the network’s position as a policy leadership alliance, that plays a more proactive role in and contributes to the global financial inclusion policy landscape. AFI is celebrating its 10th year in 2018. After a decade of bringing smart policies to life, the enhanced focus now is on the implementation of these policy changes. And that is what makes this event more significant and relevant.

Thanks again to Bank of Tanzania for hosting this collaborative event and to the team including my colleagues at AFI that have worked over several months to pull together this programme. Learnings from this event, I am sure will help participating institutions to effectively implement policies for promoting financial inclusion.

Wishing you a great week of learning and sharing! I thank you. 

 

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