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Project Case Study

Improving access to financial services for Zambia’s poor

Using the M4P approach to catalyse market growth

Access to financial services in Zambia is low, especially among the poor. The latest FinScope survey estimates that less than 38% of the adult population have access to any form of financial service. This makes it harder for people to save and invest, transfer money, withstand shocks, and earn their way out of poverty.

In response to this, in partnership with DAI, we are implementing Financial Sector Deepening Zambia, a £13 million programme funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

Project info

Financial Sector Deepening in Zambia


In partnership with

  • DAI

By using the Making Markets Work for the Poor (M4P) approach, the programme seeks to promote coordination and connections between consumers, financial service providers, government, and other key market players. As a facilitating agency, it acts as a catalyst to develop an efficient and vibrant financial sector that offers a wider range of financial services through diverse channels to more financially capable households and micro, small and medium enterprises.

Our vision is that by 2018, Zambia will have a sustainable financial market system that works for the poor, where services are accessed and used by a broad range of poor households and enterprises, including smallholder farmers, to meet a variety of financial service needs. Banks, Micro-Finance Institutions, community-based providers and others will offer relevant and appropriate financial services such as credit, savings, insurance, and payment services that meet the needs of Zambian households and small and medium enterprises.

This will allow them to take advantage of opportunities, create value, manage risk, and smooth their cashflows, ultimately improving livelihoods. Through the use of innovative technology, service delivery and outreach will be less costly and more convenient for both providers and consumers. By 2018, a significant portion of the Zambian population will be financially capable enough to make informed decisions regarding the use of financial services and financial management, for the benefit of their households and enterprises.

Over the next 5 years, the programme will help to increase the percentage of people in Zambia classed as financially included to 50% of the population, and help expand income opportunities and reduce vulnerability for over 130,000 poor households and small and medium enterprises.

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