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Mozambique’s National Committee for Financial Inclusion (CNIF) on Friday reaffirmed the ambitious target of ensuring that, by the end of next year, 40 per cent of the adult population has physical or electronic access to financial services provided by a formal financial institution.
The records from 2016 show that in that year only 14.22 per cent of the economically active population had access to financial services. Yet the Committee wants to boost this figure to 40 per cent by next year and to 60 per cent by 2022.
The commitment to this ambitious target was restated by the Deputy Governor of the Bank of Mozambique, Victor Gomes, at the first meeting of the working groups of the CNIF, held in Maputo.
“To achieve this great goal, the tasks envisaged in the strategy for the working groups seek to guarantee in the first place access to financial services and their use; secondly, the strengthening of the financial infrastructure; and thirdly, consumer protection and financial education”, said Gomes.
The expectation, he continued, is that by next year 75 per cent of the country’s districts will have at least one point of access to formal financial services, and that all districts will be covered by 2022.
The strategy also seeks to ensure that 55 per cent of the Mozambican population has a point of access to financial services less than five kilometres from their home or workplace, and that this figure should rise to 75 per cent by 2022.
The prospect, said Gomes, is that in the short to medium term, products and services will be designed and implemented that are appropriate for the low income population living in the rural areas where there is little if any penetration by the commercial banks.
Other actions needed to implement the strategy included “improving the capacity to collect data disaggregated by individual, gender and field of activity in the districts and localities”, and “including informal financial activities in the formal framework”.
Gomes stressed the contribution of financial technologies in inclusion, urging that they should be continually exploited in depth.
The government approved, in 2013, the Financial Sector Development Strategy for 2013-2022, and one of the main pillars of this strategy is to improve access to financial services. The Bank of Mozambique then, in coordination with the Mozambique Insurance Supervision, and with the support of the World Bank, drew up the National Financial Inclusion Strategy, approved by the government in 2016.Source: AIM