23 February 2018

Zimbabwe: First Mutual Starts Financial Inclusion Training

First Mutual Life has embarked on a financial inclusion training programme, starting with participants in Uzumba district, as part of efforts to promote financial literacy among the rural populace.

The National Financial Inclusion Strategy aims to increase access to banking, micro-finance, insurance and capital markets and is anchored on financial innovation, financial literacy, consumer protection and micro-finance.

First Mutual Holdings Limited Group marketing and strategy executive Farayi Mangwende said the strategy focuses on improving financial inclusion for all Zimbabwean adults, while the training programme takes consideration of the aptitude of potential customers based on their background and appetite for risk.

"The strategy also recognises the needs of special interest groups, namely women; youth; micro, small to medium enterprises (MSMEs), the rural and the small-scale agricultural communities.

"Financial inclusion not only helps individuals and families, but collectively, it develops entire communities and can help drive economic growth, enabling and empowering people and communities," said Mangwende.

Ms Mangwende explained that the initiative is aligned to the Government's financial inclusion strategy.

"The initiative is cognisant of the significant contribution of an inclusive financial sector to the socio-economic development of the country in pursuit of the Zimbabwe national financial inclusion strategy 2016-2020.

"The training provided an opportunity to understudy the dynamics of the rural markets and amplified financial literacy in this market segment as part of the business Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) objectives," she said.

The training programme, facilitated by Community Technology Development Organisation (CTDO) and the Ministry of Women's Affairs, Gender and Community Development, intended to orient customers on how to make financial decisions that will improve their livelihoods.

Ms Mangwende said they intend to inform rural farmers who are mostly within BOP segment on the benefits of insurance products as well as equip sales agents with customer service skills that will make the selling process of insurance exciting.

When the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) launched the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (2016-2020), Governor Dr John Mangudya said it seeks to increase the overall level of access to affordable and appropriate formal financial services within the country from 69 percent in 2014 to at least 90 percent by 2020.

Dr Mangudya added that the project also aims to increase the proportion of banked adults from 30 percent recorded two years ago to at least 60 percent by 2020.


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