The Government of Republic of Zambia (GRZ) has launched the Rural Finance Policy and Strategy (RFPS) document highlighting priority areas of intervention in the quest for rural financial inclusion.
Zambia’s Minister of Finance, Mr. Felix Mutati officially launched the RFPS on the 22nd November, 2017 at Radisson Blu in Lusaka.
In a speech read on his behalf by Secretary to the Treasury Mr. Fredson Yamba, Minister Mutati said the Rural Finance Policy and Strategy compliments government’s Vision 2030 of attaining universal access to and usage of quality and affordable financial services.
He said the RFPS fits within and will support the wider National Financial Sector Development Policy and Strategy launched on the 8th November, 2017.
Mr. Mutati thanked the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) for partnering with the Zambian government in the area of rural financial inclusion.
“This partnership saw the design and establishment of the Rural Finance Programme (RFP) from 2007-2013 which has continued to be enhanced through the Rural Finance Expansion Programme (RUFEP) which is currently running from 2014 to 2022”, he said.
Mr. Mutati added that the development of the Rural Finance Policy and Strategy is one of the achievements of the partnership with IFAD through the Rural Finance Programme which run from 2007 to 2013.
Going forward, Mr. Mutati said Government with support from IFAD through the Rural Finance Expansion Programme (RUFEP) has established the Rural Finance Unit at the Ministry of Finance to oversee the implementation of the Rural Finance Policy and Strategy.
Speaking at the official opening, IFAD Zambia Country Director Abla Benhammouche said IFAD continues to be a steadfast partner to Zambia’s rural financial inclusion agenda through RUFEP.
Ms Benhammouche congratulated the Government of Zambia for launching the Financial Sector Development Policy and the National Financial Inclusion Strategy which provides an overall policy framework for financial inclusion in Zambia and under which the RFPS will be implemented.
In a speech read on her behalf by IFAD Zambia Programme Manager, Dr. Dick Siame, she said IFAD in partnership with GRZ will continue investing in rural people to reduce poverty, create wealth by ensuring that no one is left behind.
Giving a vote of thanks, Entrepreneurship Technology Park (ETP) Managing Consultant Dr. Moosho Imakando thanked Government for launching the Rural Finance Policy and Strategy which provides a framework for implementing partners involved in financial inclusion.
She disclosed that ETP with support from RUFEP is currently involved in building capacity of smallholder dairy farmers in Mongu, Western Province by linking them to financial services.