The Bank of Zambia (BoZ) Agent Banking Directives (2022) have been issued and gazetted by the Government of the Republic of Zambia under the Gazette Notice No. 1476 dated 30th September, 2022.

The purpose of the Agent Banking Directives is to provide a regulatory framework for Agent Banking to promote financial inclusion, cost effective delivery channels for payment system, electronic money or financial services and to provide authorized activities of agents.

Further, the directives are meant to set minimum standards for data, network security, consumer protection and risk management in the conduct of Agent Banking.

This entails that regulated entities by BoZ that intend to engage in Agent Banking shall apply in writing to the Bank for authorization.

Applicants for Agent Banking are required to include a Risk Assessment Report on Agent Banking with measures to be adopted to mitigate the risks, internal audit report for internal controls, approved internal policies and procedures for anti-Money Laundering/Combating Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) and the list of financial services to be provided.

On the use of Third-Party Technology Service Providers, a regulated entity may enter into a written contract for the provision of equipment or technology platform to be used for Agent Banking.

However, the regulated entity shall remain liable for Agent Banking Activities even where a third-party technology service provider is engaged.

The Agent Banking Directives came into force on the day they were published in the Government Gazette on the 30th September, 2022.

Under the Strategic Partnership Component, RUFEP signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with BoZ in 2016 to deliver specific outcomes within the Central Bank’s mandate as a financial sector regulator to promote financial inclusion. The issuance of the Agent Banking Directives, Gazette Notice No.1476 of 2022 under the Banking and Financial Services Act of 2017 and the National Payment Systems Act, 2007 is one of the outcomes of the Strategic Partnership between RUFEP and BoZ.


The Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) have agreed to a ‘no cost extension’ of the Rural Finance Expansion Programme (RUFEP) for a period of one year.

The Financing agreement for RUFEP (2014-2022) between GRZ and IFAD dated 17th July, 2014 which was due for completion by 30th September, 2022 was extended by one year to 30th September, 2023.

The decision was made to allow for finalization of some activities that were delayed due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and to facilitate the design of a new follow up programme.

Following a request for a twelve month no-cost extension of RUFEP by the GRZ through the Ministry of Finance and National Planning dated 7th September, 2022, IFAD agreed to extend RUFEP for one year.

IFAD East and Southern Africa Division Regional Director Sara Mbago-Bhunu confirmed the extension of RUFEP in a statement to the Minister of Finance and National Planning Dr. Situmbeko Musokotwane dated 23rd September, 2022.

“I’m pleased to inform you that IFAD Management has approved the extension of project completion date from 30 September 2022 to 30 September 2023 and the financing closing date from 31st March 2023 to 31st March 2023”, Mbago-Bhunu said.

Meanwhile, IFAD Zambia Country Programme Officer, Dr. Brian Kapotwe said the IFAD Mission conducted from 15-23 September, 2022 for RUFEP was changed from a Completion Mission to a Supervision Mission in view of the extension.

Dr. Kapotwe said GRZ requested for an extension based on the good performance of the programme which was granted by IFAD to consolidate the current achievements and to mobilise more resources to upscale the successful elements of the programme.

“This mission was initially meant to be a Completion Mission. It was changed to a Supervision Mission following GRZ’s request for a one (1) year ‘no cost extension’ of RUFEP which was granted by IFAD”, he said.

Speaking during the Supervision Mission, Dr. Kapotwe said RUFEP’s final impact assessment will still be done to empirically quantify the impact of the programme and to generate lessons learnt to inform future interventions and policy reforms.

By September 2022, RUFEP had effectively reached a total of 643,449 beneficiaries of which 57% were women. The Programme Design had initially targeted 140,000 households as beneficiaries which later revised to 500,000 households at the Mid -Term Review (MTR) in 2018.

And RUFEP Programme Coordinator Michael Mbulo said the extension provides an opportunity for the smooth completion of activities by partners which had lagged behind due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

For Strategic Partners, among the activities pending includes the finalization of the MSME Finance Survey by BoZ conducted by ZamStats, the review of the Rural Finance Policy and Strategy by RFU, the development of a pilot wholesale agriculture value chain product by DBZ and the development of a centralized database for DFS usage by ZICTA”, he said.

Mr. Mbulo added that under the IOF Component, Zambia National Building Society (ZNBS), FINCA, UBA, EFC, Widenergy and Cattlemen Livestock Cooperative Society are some of the partners with pending activities to be completed during the extension