Victoria Joram has run a workshop and shop since 2001, where she repairs and sells accessories for mobile phones. She heard about the possibility of applying for a favourable loan from the local bank in order to expand her operations.
Photo: Goodluck Mushi
Savings accounts, loans and insurance provide a more stable economy
In the last ten years, Tanzania has experienced positive development in several areas. The country's economy has been strengthened, the growth is one of the highest in Africa at around 7 per cent, and improvements have been made within education and health. This growth, however, has not helped to reduce the income-related poverty in the country. One reason is that the poor people are not sufficiently active within the sectors where growth is significant, such as the mining sector, but instead work within sectors such as agriculture, which struggles with low productivity and processing standards. One of the reasons for low productivity is that 56 per cent of the adult population do not have access to any form of financial services, such as savings possibilities, loans, credit or insurance. Only 12 per cent have a relationship with a formal bank.
For people living in poverty, this means insecurity. For example, the inability to have long-term savings in order to cope with anticipated costs such as school fees, unexpected events such as poor harvests or deaths, the inability to insure one's house or livestock and not being able to borrow money to invest in the home or business.
Financial Sector Deepening Tanzania (FSDT) is a programme that works with increasing the access to financial services, particularly in rural areas and especially for women. FSDT cooperates with both commercial banks, savings and credit institutions, telecom operators, microfinance organisations and government stakeholders. Specifically, it involves strengthening the recruitment and the capacity of loan officers at the banks, thus creating access to loans, credit and insurance for a customer group that would otherwise be too risky or burdensome for the bank to work with. It can also relate to stimulating the innovation of new services and products with the potential to reach new customer groups, for example mobile-banking – a convenient system where customers can easily manage their bank affairs on their phones – an improved regulatory framework, or providing direct access to financial services through savings and loan groups in the villages.
The Financial Sector Deepening Trust (FSDT) is an initiative by several donors in Tanzania and is conducted as a programme. Other financiers, aside from Tanzania's own government are the United Kingdom, Canada, Denmark and Holland. Both the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance are represented on the board.
Sida is supporting the programme with SEK 100 million for the period 2005–2014.
- The number of poor people that have access to financial services has increased from 456,446 in 2009 to 936,643 in 2011. 57% of these were women and young people.
- Of these, the number of women and young people with access to financial services increased from 272,000 in 2009 to 532,308 in 2011.
- The proportion of the population that avail of formal financial services increased from 9.1% in 2006 to 12.4% in 2009.
- Credit to the private sector as a portion of the BNP increased from 8.9% in 2006 to 18% in 2011.
- Credit volumes approved by microfinance institutions (in cooperation with FSDT) for small and medium-sized companies and poor people increased from 53.9 billion Tsh in 2006 to 219 in 2011.
- Deposit volumes mobilised by microfinance institutions (in cooperation with FSDT) for small and medium-sized companies and poor people increased from 51.7 billion Tsh in 2006 to 155 in 2011.