Em­power Bank on the cards

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle - Busi­ness Re­porter

THE Gov­ern­ment will es­tab­lish a new mi­cro­fi­nance in­sti­tu­tion called ‘Em­power Bank’ as part of ef­forts to fa­cil­i­tate fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion of the un­banked mar­ket un­der the Na­tional Fi­nan­cial In­clu­sion Strat­egy.

Early this year, the Gov­ern­ment launched a five-year fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion pro­gramme (20162020) meant to in­crease the over­all level of ac­cess to af­ford­able and ap­pro­pri­ate for­mal fi­nan­cial ser­vices within the coun­try from 69 per­cent in 2014 to about 90 per­cent by 2020.

Re­serve Bank of Zim­babwe Gov­er­nor Dr John Man­gudya has said an in­clu­sive fi­nan­cial sys­tem fa­cil­i­tates the mo­bil­i­sa­tion of fi­nan­cial re­sources cir­cu­lat­ing in the in­for­mal sec­tor, which im­pacts pos­i­tively on liq­uid­ity in the econ­omy.

Ac­cord­ing to a 2014 Fin­scope con­sumer sur­vey, 23 per­cent of Zim­babwe’s adult pop­u­la­tion was fi­nan­cially ex­cluded, with only 30 per­cent of the coun­try’s adult pop­u­la­tion mak­ing use of bank­ing ser­vices.

Pre­sent­ing the mid-term fis­cal pol­icy state­ment last week, Fi­nance and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Pa­trick Chi­na­masa said modal­i­ties for the es­tab­lish­ment of the pro­posed bank to be called ‘Em­power Bank’, in­clud­ing cap­i­tal­i­sa­tion, are be­ing de­vel­oped.

“Gov­ern­ment is also con­sid­er­ing the es­tab­lish­ment of a mi­cro-fi­nance in­sti­tu­tion, to be called Em­power Bank . . . the modal­i­ties for the es­tab­lish­ment of the pro­posed Em­power Bank, in­clud­ing cap­i­tal­i­sa­tion, are be­ing de­vel­oped in con­sul­ta­tion with all the rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties, in­clud­ing the mon­e­tary au­thor­i­ties.

“Given the con­strained fis­cal space Gov­ern­ment is cur­rently op­er­at­ing un­der, es­tab­lish­ment of Em­power Bank will not be seek­ing fund­ing from the fis­cus,” said the Min­is­ter.

In the 2016 na­tional bud­get, the Gov­ern­ment also pro­posed the set­ting up of the Women’s Bank, which is still on the pipe­line.

“In the same vein, in ful­fil­ment of my pro­posal in the 2016 na­tional bud­get for cap­i­tal­i­sa­tion of the Women’s Bank, Trea­sury is also mo­bil­is­ing $5 mil­lion for the pro­posed mi­cro-fi­nance in­sti­tu­tion be­fore year end,” said Min­is­ter Chi­na­masa.

“This in­sti­tu­tion is very im­por­tant for sup­port­ing var­i­ous women and youth projects as a way of pro­mot­ing their eco­nomic em­pow­er­ment.”

The es­tab­lish­ment of Zim­babwe’s first Women’s Bank has been on the cards since 2010 but be­cause of lack of fund­ing, op­er­a­tional­i­sa­tion of the bank has been de­layed. — @okazunga

schemes, so are banks, so is in­surance even life is just one big $1 con­cept fun­da­men­tally. It makes sense to be alive than dead but a time will come when it makes sense to be dead than alive. It gets com­plex like that but we hate com­plex dis­cus­sions thus we will stick to our $1 con­tri­bu­tions and let com­mu­ni­ties be win­ners.

Guess the big­gest chal­lenges Zim­bab­weans have is im­ple­men­ta­tion. Al­ways great ideas on pa­per but come to im­ple­men­ta­tion we are lack­adaisi­cal.

That has cost us as a peo­ple and as a busi­ness na­tion.

I am yet to see a shop where ev­ery­thing is sold at $1. Maybe due to the fact that a $1 in Zim­babwe is worth 40 cents in terms of pur­chas­ing power, there­fore, $1 shop will be dif­fi­cult to im­ple­ment. In some coun­tries they do it and it has proved pop­u­lar among shop­pers.

All this is just ma­nip­u­lat­ing the $1 and it be­ing per­ceived as an easy to ac­quire note.

My prayers are that the next time we talk about a $1 Zim­babwe will have re-val­ued the $1 up­wards be­cause a $1 in Zim­babwe isn’t re­ally a $1.

Dur­ing Zim­babwe dol­lar era we talked so much about one cent now we talk much about a $1.

My friends and I used to bet us­ing a dol­lar as we called it sym­bolic bet­ting among col­leagues to lessen the trauma once you lose the bet.




Mor­ris Mpala is the man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of MoB Cap­i­tal Limited, a Bu­l­awayo head­quar­tered mi­cro-fi­nance in­sti­tu­tion with a foot­print across the coun­try. IN BYO PLEASE

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