Poverty reduction through financial inclusion: Quick stats: Tanzania’s mobile phone penetration is among the highest in Africa and the country is currently enjoying a robust financial sector growth. Yet, as of 2013, although 90% of Tanzanians were accessing mobile money services, the percent of adults with an account at a formal financial institution is just 17% nationally and just 14% in rural areas (Sources: GSMA Tanzania Enabling Mobile Money Policies; Findex Tanzania 2011). With a national commitment to reaching 50% formal financial inclusion by 2016, the time is right for formal banking to catch up to the mobile money sector.
Link UP Programme: CARE Tanzania and NMB Bank are teaming up to build replicable models for financial inclusion for rural communities. The initiative provides opportunities for village savings and loans societies (VSLA) members to access formal financial services via linkages to financial service providers through the introduction and expansion of technology-enabled financial services. The initiative aims to reach 250,000 VSLA members for group linkages and 70,000 members for individual linkages. As VSLA groups mature, many seek the security of a bank account to hold their growing savings, or are in need of larger loans than the group can provide. In order to ensure that the VSLAs and its members understand financial management and the linkage with the formal sector, CARE Tanzania aims to build the capacity of the VSLAs and its members before any formal linkage occurs.