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Save Me From Myself: Exploring the disconnect between providers and consumers of savings products in Zambia

“Yes, I do save. I have a bank account in Kabwe, two hours away.”   “Why so far away when there are banks here in Chisamba?”   “It keeps me disciplined! I know that if I have to travel two hours to make a withdrawal from my bank account, I will not squander the money.”   The above exchange between a female farmer and an interviewer was captured during the qualitative research for the Making Access Possible (MAP) study in Zambia. Although it may sound like an uncommon practice, we found this is not out of the ordinary. There are…

Farming for data in Kenya: Thoughts from the first event in the #DataHacks4FI meet-up series in Naroibi

In Kenya, agriculture is the second largest contributor to GDP and the largest supporter of livelihoods. 75% of the labour force in Kenya is employed in agriculture and 33% of all adults derive their main source of income from it. But agriculture remains largely out of reach for the financial sector. Only 4.3% of private sector credit goes to agriculture and farmers are amongst the least served by financial services in the country with even casual labourers reporting higher usage of mobile and banking services.   Agriculture and farmers are hard business for the financial sector. They are often beyond…

A river gets full through its tributaries: Building mutually beneficial financial inclusion communities through data

The first language that l was  exposed to as a child was Sotho/Tswana. My maternal grandfather had this saying as one of his favourites, “Noka etlatswa ke dinokana”, meaning “a river gets full through its tributaries for it to flow yearlong”. This is a proverb that emphasises the importance of community building and working together to tackle a big task. No one entity can do it alone, the bigger the entity, the more tributaries it needs for it to flow efficiently. Growing up in Zimbabwe I often heard the importance of working together, be it in the fields or building…

Getting ahead of the Curve: How the Regulatory Discourse on M-insurance is Changing

Nearly a year ago, we joined the A2ii in Abidjan to sit down with a roomful of regulators to discuss the challenges and imperatives CIMA faces in regulating mobile insurance at the CIMA-A2ii Workshop on Mobile Insurance Regulation. In the CIMA context, as with most countries in Africa, mobile network operators (MNOs) and the technical service providers (TSPs) that support them are emerging as key players in extending the reach of insurance. The discussions at the workshop focused on how insurance regulators can broaden their focus to include these MNOs and TSPs, as well as how to cooperate across different…

Good intentions: Why what you measure in financial inclusion is so important to the outcomes you achieve

Financial inclusion is increasingly recognised as a policy instrument to deliver on policy objectives such as welfare, health outcomes and food security. In fact, it is deemed so important that the recently published United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include equal access to financial services for all people as one of the goals to ending poverty. To track and measure the SDGs, a number of indicators have been agreed upon. For the financial inclusion component, the designated indicators are bank account uptake and activity.   Setting indicators and targets such as these are important. Policymakers are decision-makers. They set objectives…
 

Blog

Save Me From Myself: Exploring the disconnect between providers and consumers of savings products in Zambia

“Yes, I do save. I have a bank account in Kabwe, two hours away.”   “Why so far away when there are banks here in Chisamba?”   “It keeps me disciplined! I know that if I have to travel two hours to make a withdrawal from my bank account, I will not squander the money.”   The above exchange between a female farmer and an interviewer was captured during the qualitative research for the Making Access Possible (MAP) study in Zambia. Although it may sound like an uncommon practice, we found this is not out of the ordinary. There are…

Farming for data in Kenya: Thoughts from the first event in the #DataHacks4FI meet-up series in Naroibi

In Kenya, agriculture is the second largest contributor to GDP and the largest supporter of livelihoods. 75% of the labour force in Kenya is employed in agriculture and 33% of all adults derive their main source of income from it. But agriculture remains largely out of reach for the financial sector. Only 4.3% of private sector credit goes to agriculture and farmers are amongst the least served by financial services in the country with even casual labourers reporting higher usage of mobile and banking services.   Agriculture and farmers are hard business for the financial sector. They are often beyond…

A river gets full through its tributaries: Building mutually beneficial financial inclusion communities through data

The first language that l was  exposed to as a child was Sotho/Tswana. My maternal grandfather had this saying as one of his favourites, “Noka etlatswa ke dinokana”, meaning “a river gets full through its tributaries for it to flow yearlong”. This is a proverb that emphasises the importance of community building and working together to tackle a big task. No one entity can do it alone, the bigger the entity, the more tributaries it needs for it to flow efficiently. Growing up in Zimbabwe I often heard the importance of working together, be it in the fields or building…

Getting ahead of the Curve: How the Regulatory Discourse on M-insurance is Changing

Nearly a year ago, we joined the A2ii in Abidjan to sit down with a roomful of regulators to discuss the challenges and imperatives CIMA faces in regulating mobile insurance at the CIMA-A2ii Workshop on Mobile Insurance Regulation. In the CIMA context, as with most countries in Africa, mobile network operators (MNOs) and the technical service providers (TSPs) that support them are emerging as key players in extending the reach of insurance. The discussions at the workshop focused on how insurance regulators can broaden their focus to include these MNOs and TSPs, as well as how to cooperate across different…

Good intentions: Why what you measure in financial inclusion is so important to the outcomes you achieve

Financial inclusion is increasingly recognised as a policy instrument to deliver on policy objectives such as welfare, health outcomes and food security. In fact, it is deemed so important that the recently published United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include equal access to financial services for all people as one of the goals to ending poverty. To track and measure the SDGs, a number of indicators have been agreed upon. For the financial inclusion component, the designated indicators are bank account uptake and activity.   Setting indicators and targets such as these are important. Policymakers are decision-makers. They set objectives…