Zambia mulls increasing financial inclusion for rural dwellers

LUSAKA, Sept. 13– The Zambian government said Tuesday it was working on raising the level of financial inclusion to enable people in rural areas to benefit from the growing financial sector. Trevor Kaunda, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and National Planning in Charge of Monitoring and Evaluation, said the plan was to increase financial…

LUSAKA, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) — The Zambian government said Tuesday it was working on raising the level of financial inclusion to enable people in rural areas to benefit from the growing financial sector.

Trevor Kaunda, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and National Planning in Charge of Monitoring and Evaluation, said the plan was to increase financial inclusion in rural areas from the current 50 percent to 75 percent.

In remarks delivered during a meeting to scrutinize the use of general points for the provision of financial services organized by the Bank of Zambia (BoZ), the country’s central bank, the official said the initiative was aimed at fostering financial inclusion by making available government facilities in rural areas which financial service providers could leverage on in providing financial services.

The government, he said, was also working on increasing the percentage of districts with at least one financial access point from the current 82 percent to 100 percent by the end of this year.

Denny Kalyalya, the BoZ governor, expressed concern that financial inclusion in rural areas has continued to be low with 32 out of the country’s 116 districts lacking financial access points.

While acknowledging that financial inclusion rose to 69.4 percent in 2020 from 59.3 percent in 2015, the central bank chief said financial inclusion in rural areas has continued to be low at 56.9 percent.

The central bank chief said the bank, working with the ministry responsible for finance and national planning, has commenced the initiative to help accelerate rural financial inclusion by promoting the use of already existing public infrastructure in rural areas for the provision of financial services. Enditem

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