TRYNESS TEMBO, Lusaka
THE Bank of Zambia (BoZ) and Financial Sector Deepening Zambia (FSDZ) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to support and develop a financial market system that works better for poor communities and households.
Under the MoU, three key areas will be supported through the BoZ such as the implementation of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy, development of digital financial services and financial technology to help shift Zambians from cash payments to digital transactions over time.
Other, areas are support and development of a financial market system that works for smallholder farmers, women, youth, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.
BoZ governor Denny Kalyalya said the MoU is beneficial in increasing formal financial inclusion by 16 percent over course of the cooperation.
During the signing ceremony yesterday, Dr Kalyalya said that the environment is ripe for innovative ideas including digital financial services, which have proved to be a platform to drive financial inclusion.
“Financial inclusion is one of the central bank’s strategic focus areas. Our previous MoU with FSDZ achieved several milestones.
“This new MoU will surpass it especially with the former governor Caleb Fundanga at the helm of FSDZ – he understands the challenges Zambians face in accessing financial services,” Dr Kalyalya said.
A 2017 study in the African financial journal looking at 35 sub-Saharan African countries shows that poor people who are financially-included receive larger economic benefits than those who are not.
At the same occasion, FSDZ board chairman Dr Fundanga, says the findings indicate that financial inclusion is a powerful policy lever, which can help not only deliver increased growth but tackle the poverty trap in Zambia.
“By signing the MoU today [yesterday], FSDZ hopes to support BoZ in meeting its multiple commitments for full financial inclusion under the Maya Declarations, in the central bank’s Strategic Plan 2016-19 and in upcoming National Financial Inclusion Strategy,” he said.