MAP DRC diagnostic and roadmap to financial inclusion
MAP DRC diagnostic and roadmap to financial inclusionMay 5, 2017 •
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) may be one of the most challenging environments for financial services. From both a provider and consumer perspective, infrastructure, a rapidly changing financial services landscape and regional disparities pose significant challenges to the market. In 2014, the Ministry of Finance formally requested UNCDF’s support for its ongoing financial inclusion agenda. It was agreed that the MAP study will form the basis for the development of a multi-stakeholder roadmap for financial inclusion, which in turn will be leveraged as a vehicle towards an integrated financial inclusion strategy in DRC.
The DRC is emerging from decades of conflict. Add to this, severe infrastructure constraints and a vast and difficult-to-navigate topography. Almost half of all adults live in deep rural areas where they are all but cut off from the outside world. Only 7% of the population is formally employed. The rest make a living in the informal sector. Poverty is widespread, with 53% earning less than USD 3.30 per day.
The 2015 Human Development Index, which measures the annual rankings of national achievement in health, education and income, ranked DRC 179 out of 189 countries (UNDP, 2015). The DRC is plagued by high infant mortality rates, low life expectancy and a high disease burden. Most hospitals are inadequately staffed and equipped. Access to basic education is limited. In 2012, the World Bank estimated that the adult literacy rate in the DRC was 75%.
The majority of Congolese are financially stressed. 71% of FinScope respondents reported the necessity to “often” or “sometimes” go without food or medical treatment, or have to take children out of school. In rural areas, that figure rises to 79%. More than 45% report not having enough income, whilst approximately 30% report irregular or unreliable income as problematic.
In 2016, the MAP DRC team presented their analysis and recommendations on the financial inclusion environment in DRC to the Ministry of Finance, Central Bank, National Statistics Agency, selected financial service providers, industry associations, development agencies and donors. These included a stakeholder presentation, diagnostic report and a roadmap for financial inclusion in DRC.
Download the presentation
Download the roadmap
Download the diagnostic report
Financial inclusion can help manage deprivation. People face many risks and financial shocks that reinforce the poverty cycle. Financial services can help to manage these shocks to smooth and grow income. It can also help people build assets, transact and live their financial lives more efficiently.
Effective financial systems can fuel real economy impacts at the macroeconomic level by mobilising savings for investment purposes, reducing transaction costs and increasing efficiency, thereby contributing to employment generation and growth. At the household level, financial inclusion can impact people’s welfare directly by reducing their transaction costs, enabling them to more efficiently manage risks, allocating capital for productive use and supporting the accumulation of wealth over time.
Financial services can also facilitate access to core services, such as health or education. This can impact growth directly, by triggering service sectors, as well as indirectly, by enhancing productivity.