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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…

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.…

Diving into the data: Exploring differences in MSMEs in Zambia

Micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) are recognised globally as a major engine of growth and employment creation. Access to finance is their most commonly cited barrier to growth. The IFC estimates that there are between 200 and 245 million formal and informal MSMEs in developing countries that do not have a loan or an overdraft, but require financing. That amounts to an estimated financing gap of US$2.1 to US$2.6 trillion.   In Zambia, MSME development is one way of reducing reliance on the mining sector and building a more diverse and resilient economy. In 2016, the Zambian government reaffirmed…

The role of insurance for growth in Africa

Does insurance matter for welfare and growth? Within the microinsurance discourse, the answer to this question is usually considered from the risk mitigation point of view: By helping people to mitigate risk, it makes them more resilient, thereby impacting on household welfare. Then there’s also an intermediation role. By acting as institutional investors, insurers aggregate domestic capital and mobilise it into long-term investments. Thus, it is commonly assumed that insurance strengthens capital market development for growth.   But what if it is not so straightforward? Recent research conducted on the link between insurance and capital market development across fifteen Sub-Saharan African countries…
 

Blog

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…

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.…

Diving into the data: Exploring differences in MSMEs in Zambia

Micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) are recognised globally as a major engine of growth and employment creation. Access to finance is their most commonly cited barrier to growth. The IFC estimates that there are between 200 and 245 million formal and informal MSMEs in developing countries that do not have a loan or an overdraft, but require financing. That amounts to an estimated financing gap of US$2.1 to US$2.6 trillion.   In Zambia, MSME development is one way of reducing reliance on the mining sector and building a more diverse and resilient economy. In 2016, the Zambian government reaffirmed…

The role of insurance for growth in Africa

Does insurance matter for welfare and growth? Within the microinsurance discourse, the answer to this question is usually considered from the risk mitigation point of view: By helping people to mitigate risk, it makes them more resilient, thereby impacting on household welfare. Then there’s also an intermediation role. By acting as institutional investors, insurers aggregate domestic capital and mobilise it into long-term investments. Thus, it is commonly assumed that insurance strengthens capital market development for growth.   But what if it is not so straightforward? Recent research conducted on the link between insurance and capital market development across fifteen Sub-Saharan African countries…
 

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