MWAPE MWENYA, Lusaka
BARCLAYS Bank Zambia, in partnership with Plan International Zambia and Care International Zambia, has launched the Linking for Change Savings Charter.
This aimed at breaking barriers to financial inclusion and developing solutions to link informal savings to formal banking.
It will also extend formal banking services to disadvantaged communities and help improve their quality of life through increased household income, investments in micro-enterprises, and spending on health care and education.
Barclays Bank head marketing and corporate relations Mato Shimabale said The Charter was set out to deliver a savings-led microfinance programme with the aim of improving financial-inclusion of people across Africa, Asia and South America.
â€œAt Barclays Bank Zambia we believe that funding programmes such as the Banking on Change project plays a critical role towards enhancing the development of our economy. Through the Linking for Change Savings Charter, financial inclusion, starting with supporting people to save can enable poverty reduction, social equality and the economic growth of the next generation,â€ Mr Shimabale said.
He said using a savings-led microfinance methodology, Banking on Change will help mobilise individuals into savings groups so they could save regularly, and in turn borrow small amounts at a fair rate of interest agreed by group members.
Speaking at the same event, Plan International Zambia country director Samuel Musyoki said under Banking on Change, his organisation has reached over 24,000 people in over 1,000 savings groups in Eastern, Central and Luapula provinces.
â€œCurrently these groups have a total of K4,549,097 in circulation, a clear indication that the culture of saving is improving in the country. The Linking for Change Savings Charter will further boost the viability of these savings groups,â€ Mr Musyoki said.
And Care International Zambia acting country director Oliver Wakelin said they have been working with Barclays Bank in improving access to finance for financially-excluded communities.
â€œFor over 20 years, Care has helped establish more than 150,000 savings groups in 26 African countries, serving nearly 3.8 million members. This partnership will promote greater synergies with communities in the quest to promote financial inclusion,â€ Mr Wakelin said.
And Bank of Zambia Governor Denny Kalyalya said there is need for concerted efforts from banks, mobile money service providers, and development organisations to explore technologies that can cater for the needs of savings groups.
In a speech read for him by assistant director- bank supervision Mankolo Beyani, Mr Kalyalya commended Barclays Bank for partnering with other organisations in addressing financial inclusion.
MWAPE MWENYA, Lusaka