Micro-finance guru promotes savings culture


Micro-finance guru, James Msipa, believes that access to financial services is a basic human right and introducing micro-insurance can encourage a savings culture.

28_James Msipa

This can be sustained through value addition of crops to rural farmers to enable them to get maximum return, as well as provision of financial literacy training and mentorship to micro-entrepreneurs and rural business people.

“When I get back from the Washington Fellowship, one of the key things I will push for is access to financial services,” says James. He is one of 30 Zimbabwean youth selected for the new flagship exchange program of President Obama’s first Young African Leaders Initiative.

The Managing Director of Quest Financial Services, a microfinance company that he founded in 2011, will spend six weeks at Clark University in Atlanta. He knows Atlanta is home to about 16 Fortune 500 companies, including Coca-Cola, IBM, UPS, and Delta Airlines, and he is keen to “learn a lot in terms of leadership and what it entails to grow a business from a mere start-up to a global business.”

He says the experience at Clark will equip him with the skills necessary to identify community problems and assist in coming up with innovative business solutions to address these challenges.

He is a firm believer of the triple bottom line, a business concept that states that the best run companies are modeled on achieving social (people), environmental (planet) and economic successes (profit).

He has a manifesto that he believes can transform lives of individuals struggling to make ends meet. “One of the main things that I will do is to transform our population from poor, underserved and financially excluded to a thriving middle class through access to financial services for economically viable business projects for the rural community, peri-urban, urban entrepreneurs and farmers.”

He believe programs such as the Washington Fellowship “provide a permanent umbilical cord for continuous information sharing and mentoring from leaders in government and in business and hence sustainability.”

James’ previous experience includes assignments at Untu Microfinance and as a money market trader for TN Bank, ZABG, and Trust Bank.

He is the immediate-past chairman of the Microfinance Pension Fund and sits on the board of Action Against Poverty, a local trust which runs livelihood programs in Zimbabwe. James holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the Midlands State University and has a certificate in banking from the Institute of Bankers.
Her primary role was in market research, financial product development and marketing.


• Watch the video message from President Obama encouraging young African leaders to join the YALI Network.

• For more information on YALI go to http://youngafricanleaders.state.gov/yali/
• For more information on the Washington Fellowship, including video of President Obama’s announcement of the program go to http://youngafricanleaders.state.gov/washington-fellows/


  1. he clearly doesn’t know finance I wonder wat exactly he was doing running a money market position in a bank.asi pana chef akakuorganisa Nara irori.how can you want to promote saving culture in a deflationery environment. go back to school and study your finance, I can tell u didn’t earn your position

  2. he clearly doesn’t know finance I wonder wat exactly he was doing running a money market position in a bank.asi pana chef akakuorganizera mabasa iwawo how can you want to promote saving culture in a deflationery environment. go back to school and study your finance, I can tell u didn’t earn your position

  3. Well done and congratulations!….. you are clearly solution and not problem oriented and this country needs more many people like you… who dont just sit back and critisize but actually go out and do something that is beneficial to the economy! again CoNGRATULATIONS!

  4. Tony, will you relax please. How much school have you done? A deflationary environment, especially one like Zimbabwe right now where interest rates are high, provides the best REAL return for savers. This is how we calculate real returns; Nominal rate of interest minus the rate of inflation. The bigger the gap between the two the higher the reward for savings. James is banker for a reason. That is the reason he is striving to promote a savings culture so that savers are rewarded. Besides, not so long ago, savers lost all when we converted to foreign currencies.

    Taakukuuudza isu takadzidza. Nyarara.

    Thank you James and please keep it up, one in a million. Congrats as well!!

  5. ofcoures nominal rates are higher,but who can pay u high rates in a recession, wake up awuna kudzidza,an example is USA when they came out from a recession ya 2008 they’ve had negative rates coz central banks can’t afford to charge high rates in slumps hence rates were reduced to zero,no body has been making money saving,wake up my brother or sis

  6. Its really hard to help you. You should be taking this opportunity to learn from me my friend. I cant see any facts in your argument. Denmark was the first country to introduce negative deposit rates in 2012 and the rest of Europe is thinking about it now as we speak. When you say “who can pay you high rates in a recession” what do you mean? You need to stop textbook economics and learn real banking, if you knew whats going on in Zimbabwe you would know that its not only James Msipa who is calling for higher savings but too are looking for deposits. Lastly, in a deflationary environment, common sense tells you to save and keep your money in cash as buying assets means you will lose value from falling prices. There is something called Eurodollars, this refers to a deposit in USD outside of the United States. Zim right now is a Eurodollar market which has its own interest rate structure. If you have any money under your pillow I encourage you to take it to the bank. Its the best thing to do. ( The issue of credit quality is one for another day but save now!). And….. I am very educated my friend, several banking courses, two MSc degrees, one Bcom, I have worked in the world’s best banks in more than 8 countries. So please stop arguing, just take notes.

  7. @Lee ncube in simple terms in recession you hold cash and stash it in your mattress you do not bank it there is also risk of default by the banks not honouring look at Royal ,trust Zabg etc be very practical. actually u are bookish and still failing to asses wat the book says.so can u oppose that and go stash your money in the bank.James meant saving in the bank

  8. I don’t know what happened to my comment as I was posting but anyway….
    You don’t have any facts whatsoever. When you say “who can pay you high rates” what do you mean? If you knew anything at all then you would know that James is not the only one asking people to save, banks are all looking for deposits. Check your facts again about the US interest rates. Denmark was the first country to introduce negative interest rates in 2012 and the rest of Europe is contemplating the same move now. So if you have any money under your pillow take it to the bank and deposit it. Again instead of taking about kudzidza, use common sense, if prices are going down then you would rather hold cash or better still savings as they earn interest because by holding an asset you get less when you sell it.
    For your info, I have two MSc degrees, several professional banking courses including IOBZ and a Bcom, I have worked for the world’s best banks in more than eight countries. So I am both educated and experienced.

  9. What do u mean by who can pay you high rates? For your guide, it’s not just James who is encouraging people to save. All banks are looking for deposits. Take your money from under your pillow and take it to the bank because now you know who will pay you. Secondly, your argument about the US is not true, check your facts again. Lastly, Stop the hauna kudzidza story please, I have two MSc degrees from some of the worlds best universities, a bachelors degree and several professional banking qualifications. I have worked in banking in more than 8 countries so I have the experience too. Just take out your notebook and take notes instead of arguing.

  10. You are confusing yourself. As I said. Take this opportunity to learn. You even have the guts to say I am bookish. You also don’t know the first thing about solvency and capital adequacy. What u are doing is cheap talk yemuroad. Take your money to the bank my friend

  11. This is brilliant mkoma Jimmy. You surely deserve this award mate. Keep the dream alive and may the good Lord God bless you and family as you continue on this journey.

    Congratulations mkoma.

  12. tony,i think you are barking up the wrong tree,please take your frustrations elsewhere. For your own information this guy has mobilised savings in the sector by encouraging stuff members of MFIs to save for retirement. All clients that take loans also save for perils like funerals,medical costs etc.

    Lets support our own people,who are trying to achieve under the circumstances

    Well done Jimalo!!!!!!!

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