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RBZ transforms MFIs in financial inclusion thrust

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Microfinance institutions (MFIs) are being transformed to aid financial inclusion taking on-board the marginalised groups, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) deputy governor Jesimen Chipika has said.

BY TARISAI MANDIZHA

Speaking at the Zimbabwe Microfinance Conference yesterday, Chipika said one of the measures that are being put in place
for the transformation of the sector is recognising the MFIs that can be used for development and put in place the microfinance
policy. She said RBZ was spearheading the development of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy which was launched in March 2017.

“Now we are taking a new direction of broadening the economy, building an inclusive economy, going back to where our people are and there are mostly marginalised in the economy.

So in order for that redirection of development to take place we say the microfinance institutions are key, but they themselves have to be redirected and transformed to play that mandate of taking the marginalised groups in order for production to increase in the economy,” Chipika said.

She said MFIs were one of the four key pillars strategies of financial inclusion and those institutions could take advantage of the information centres around the country to disseminate information on their services and products.

Chipika said the number of registered microfinance institutions in the country have grown to 186 as at end of August 2017 with the number expected to grow in the outlook.

Speaking at the same event, World Bank country manager for Zimbabwe Mukami Kariuki said RBZ has said only 4% of bank credit was extended to SMEs.

“The World Bank Group is committed to achieving universal financial access by helping 200 million businesses worldwide access credit.

Today half of all formal SMEs in emerging markets don’t have access to formal credit, and the credit gap for these SMEs is estimated at $2,6 trillion. Women own and run more than a third of all small and medium enterprises in emerging markets – and in Zimbabwe, this share is even higher,” Kariuki said.

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