BoT-AFI Joint Learning Program - Opening remarks from Dr. Bernard Kibesse, Deputy Governor of BoT

2018-10-09

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

Opening Remarks by Dr. Bernard Kibesse, Deputy Governor of BoT


Mr. Nobert Mumba, Deputy Executive Director – AFI

Dr. Khatibu Kazungu, Deputy Permanent Secretary – Ministry of Finance and Planning, United Republic of Tanzania

Mr. Juma Khamis, Deputy Permanent Secretary – Ministry of Industry and Trade, Zanzibar

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

Mrs. Nangi Massawe, Chair of NFIF Secretariat, Assistant Manager Real Sector and Financial Inclusion and Chair of AFI’s Financial Inclusion Peer Learning Group

Participants from AFI member institutions

Colleagues from BoT

Colleagues from AFI

 

Good morning and welcome to the BOT-AFI Joint Learning Program (JLP) on in-country implementation and measuring progress of financial inclusion strategies. Warmest greetings for first time visitors to Tanzania, and welcome back to the returnees.

Ladies and Gentleman

I’m honored to stand before you today to officiate this important program organized jointly by AFI and BOT. I acknowledge that this is an imperative platform for elites from different parts of the world to exchange ideas on how to push the financial inclusion agenda. Being the Deputy Governor responsible for financial stability and deepening, and having substantial experience and exposure in the industry, I hold the financial inclusion agenda with deep respect because I know its importance.

Ladies and Gentleman

The Bank of Tanzania has been a popular destination for knowledge exchanges on the development and implementation of Financial Inclusion Strategy since the launch of the first National Financial Inclusion Framework in 2013. From that time until to date, we hosted at least seven (7) countries for peer to peer learning on our policies, programs and perspectives on financial inclusion. In addition, Tanzania has been forefront to review financial inclusion strategies of AFI member countries. To date Tanzania has been able to review the strategies almost nine (9) countries.

Therefore, this Joint Learning Program is a continuation of the momentum that Tanzania has in collaborating with other nations in fostering access and usage of relevant financial solutions by our people. In particular, we are delighted to host this important delegation, knowing that each delegate has not only come with expectations to learn some new ways of doing things, but also bringing some insights and experiences which will be beneficial to other delegates, especially those from a different country. 

Ladies and Gentlemen

I know the challenges that we have in the globe, thus keeping financial inclusion an important and topical aspect worldwide. Let me mention a few of them so as to set a base for our discussions going forward. First, it has been pointed out that about 2 billion adults in the world have no access to formal or semi-formal financial services. Thus, Governments and private sector players all over the world have been putting in place strategies aimed at increasing access to financial services for the masses. Although these strategies and various technological advancements have succeeded in reducing the number of people who are financially excluded, challenges still exist in many countries, especially the developing countries.

Secondly, I’m aware that some countries are struggling to balance inclusion with the other important goals of integrity and stability of the financial system. I also know that financial inclusion measures and indicators have remained ambiguous and incomparable across countries; and there are disparities in the levels of access and usage of financial services among different groups in our communities. For instance, men still dominate women across most measures of financial inclusion such as account ownership, access to credit, and access to savings. Likewise, the youth, people living in rural areas, smallholder farmers, and micro and small entrepreneurs are left behind when it comes to financial inclusion.

I believe that you will use your time here wisely to discuss about these challenges and others that I have not mentioned, so as to come out with solutions that will help our people. I know you are smart and determined people; thus, I expect that your deliberations will provide some recommendations on how we can do things better.

Ladies and Gentlemen

While going through the literature, I realized that financial inclusion highly supports the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals, especially the SDG 1, 8, 10 and 12. This is simply to say that, while we talk about financial inclusion we at least talk about poverty alleviation, decent work i.e. employment creation and economic growth, reduction of inequalities, and responsible consumption and production. Those who are inquisitive will agree with me that well focused financial inclusion initiatives can have a significant contribution in the achievement of SDG 2 (zero hunger), 3 (good health and well being), 4 (quality education), 5 (gender equality) and 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure).

I felt that it is worth mentioning all these to you so that you can see how important you are and how important is the role ahead of you. I hope that knowing that you are dealing with the agenda that has impact on more than half of the SDGs will make you more serious and determined, bearing in mind that your task is sensitive. Therefore, I urge everyone to spend wisely every minute of this Joint Learning Program, so that at the end we can applause ourselves for the impact we have made in our people’s lives.  

Ladies and Gentlemen

As I’m about to wind up, let me remind you of a popular proverb, which says that “If you want to go fast, go alone; but if you want to go far, go with others”. The interpretation of this proverb is that the sustainability of our initiatives is highly anchored in our level of togetherness. Let me call upon all of us to work together regardless of our differences of any kind. Doing that will make us go far in terms of reaching our global and country-specific financial inclusion goals.

I also would like to remind you that the real power of knowledge only comes when it is translated into affirmative action. Therefore, let us use this Joint Learning Program to learnt, and thereafter take all the lessons learned into practice so as we can see the outcomes of our efforts. I hope that the knowledge acquired will generate creative ideas, fuel innovation and inspire appropriate development and implementation of your National Financial Inclusion Strategies.

Ladies and Gentlemen

As I conclude, I would like to remind you that a human being is a social being. Despite having a huge task ahead of us, we also have to enjoy life. There is a famous phrase in Tanzania, known as “Kazi na Dawa”, meaning that we have to not only work hard but also fuel ourselves well. Let me call upon all of us to fuel ourselves by exploring Tanzania as much as we can. Tanzania is blessed with a lot of tourist attractions including Mount Kilimanjaro, Serengeti National Park, Zanzibar (Spice Island), Ngorongoro Crater and Olduvai Gorge, Lake Manyara National Park, Tarangire National Park, Mafia Island, Bagamoyo, Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park, and many others. Even if you don’t get time to explore all of them this time, please plan to come to Tanzania next time so that you can enjoy the creation and refresh your mind ready for greater assignments.

Once again I welcome you all to Dar es Salaam Tanzania, and wishing you five productive days of the Joint Learning Programs.

 

Thank you and good morning.

 

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