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New Financing Agreement to Strengthen Rural Financial Sector in Zambia PDF Print E-mail
Written by RFN   
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 11:37

IFAD invests in rural farmers to boost access to rural finance services in country

Rome, 23 July 2014 – The government of the Republic of Zambia and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) signed a loan agreement for a US$26.315 million project that will provide rural financial services to smallholder farmers who currently do not have access to such services in rural communities throughout the Southern African nation.

The Zambia Rural Finance Expansion Programme will be co-financed with a $10.8 million loan from IFAD directly; a $11.988 million (Euro 9 million) loan from the IFAD managed Spanish Food Security Cofinancing Trust Fund; and a contribution from the government of Zambia. The financing agreement was signed yesterday by Alexander Chikwanda, Minister of Finance and National Planning of the Republic of Zambia, and by Kanayo F. Nwanze President of IFAD.

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Mapping Financial Inclusion with FSP Maps and MIX FINclusionLab PDF Print E-mail
Written by RFN   
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 15:57

As financial inclusion advances on many national agendas, policymakers, regulators, financial service providers and financial service users ask a range of critical questions – from the most fundamental: “How long does it take to reach the nearest financial service provider?" to the more complex: “What are the pillars of an enabling policy environment?” There is a distinct need for high-quality data and analysis tools to effectively answer these questions. The Maya Declaration, launched by the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) and supported by more than 50 countries, calls for national financial inclusion commitments in four areas, including utilizing data for informed policymaking and tracking of results.

Both the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and MIX (Microfinance Information Exchange) have invested in creating platforms that make financial inclusion data publicly available through platforms designed to help a wide range of actors answer find answers to their questions. FSP Maps (financed by the Gates Foundation) and FINclusionLab (promoted by the MIX) utilize high-quality datasets on the location of financial service providers as well as demographic data to geospatially visualize financial access. Both data sources have a focus on sub-national data and are distinguished from other data sources by their visualization and analytical tools.

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Increasing the Immediate Value of Microinsurance for the Poor PDF Print E-mail
Written by RFN   
Monday, 16 June 2014 10:41

Carin Stimolo & Caitlin Toombs

CGAP has recently concluded an Applied Product Innovation project with insurance intermediary MicroEnsure and design firm Continuum. MicroEnsure and mobile network operator Airtel have a partnership to deliver insurance to Airtel customers in 17 countries in Africa over the next three years. Our challenge: using human centered design techniques to figure out how to deliver relevant insurance products to the mass market, leveraging mobile phones. Watch our video or read through our presentation below for an overview of the entire project.

Microinsurance, the provision of insurance services to low-income people, can help poor households protect themselves against the risks and shocks that life inevitably brings. Without access to risk mitigation tools, insurance or adequate social security services, poor people are extremely vulnerable and ill-equipped to meet unexpected and potentially devastating losses. Only a tiny fraction of people in Africa have insurance policies today. Although MicroEnsure has already had good success with launching innovative microinsurance products over mobile, their ambitious partnership with Airtel required them to learn from customers and develop new products in a faster and more systematic way. Continuum was brought in to help the MicroEnsure team use human-centered design techniques to create and iterate product concepts over mobile.

Last Updated on Monday, 16 June 2014 10:58
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Kenya: Equity and Mastercard Foundations Partner to Train Marsabit Residents on Financial Literacy PDF Print E-mail
Written by RFN   
Monday, 23 June 2014 11:51

More than 100 Marsabit County residents in the far flung Loiyangalani region have graduated from a customized financial literacy training programme delivered by the Equity Bank Group Foundation.

In a keeping up with a growing demand for financial literacy in the region around Lake Turkana, this year, Annual Lake Turkana Cultural Festival held at Loiyangalani culminated with the presentation of certificates to 100 beneficiaries of Equity Group Foundation's (EGF); Financial Knowledge for Africa (FiKA) programme.

The program is a partnership between The MasterCard Foundation and Equity Bank implemented through Equity Group Foundation that leverages on Equity Bank infrastructure in Kenya, to reach and train youth and women. The one and a half week intensive training programme saw traders and entrepreneurs from Northern Kenya learn good financial management practices.

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Stretching Financial Inclusion PDF Print E-mail
Written by RFN   
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 09:54

Financial Inclusion (FI) is often seen as outreach of banking to underserved and unbanked regions and people.  To me this is limiting the potential of FI.  I see FI as a vehicle for innovation with the potential to disrupt customer engagement model if used correctly, riding on technology advancement. 
The inclusivity will be in selling convenience. The convenience is in offering products and services that are attractive and popular. Thus ‘including’ more ways to engage existing customers, adding new customers for a greater wallet share and of course leading to business growth, the top 5 game winners Have a great mobile banking App:

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