According to the National Financial Inclusion Strategy, released on Wednesday 6 July, the government hopes that 60% of the adult population will have access to financial services by 2022, and that all districts in the country will have at least one point of access to formal financial entities.
As per the strategy, presented by the Minister of Economy and Finance, Adriano Maleiane, by 2018 the government hopes that at least 40% of the population will have access to financial services, with a 75% coverage in all districts.
Data released on Wednesday by Mark Lundell, country director for Mozambique of the World Bank – which developed the plan in partnership with the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the central bank – currently only 24% of the adult population has formal access to financial services, compared to 13% in 2009.
Approximately 75% of micro enterprises and 50% of small businesses do not have access to financial products and services, Lundell says.
“The level of financial inclusion in Mozambique remains relatively low”, Minister Maleiane admitted, saying that: “for a country of about 800,000 square kilometres and with 14 million people of working age, the number of bank branches and other financial service providers appears so far to be insufficient to meet the population’s and businesses’ needs”.
However, Minister Maleiane pointed out that, between 2005 and 2015, the number of banks operating in the country had increased from 12 to 18, the number of ATMs had risen from 376 to 1,576 and the districts covered by bank branches increased from 27 to 70.
“We must redouble our efforts to encourage the expansion of financial services, without neglecting the strict observance of sound and prudent management criteria in our financial institutions”, the minister noted.
Minister Maleiane also pointed out that it was necessary to meet the needs of the majority and that the actions of the executive must take account of “small farmers and micro, small and medium enterprise owners, with greater focus on rural areas”.
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