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'Zambia govt slow on financial inclusion'

By , ITWeb’s Zambian correspondent.
Zambia , 08 Jan 2016

'Zambia govt slow on financial inclusion'

A telecom analyst has called on the Zambian government to do more to promote digital financial services in the Southern African country.

Amos Kalunga, a telecom analyst at Computer Society of Zambia, said the government has not done enough in this regard.

However, the Minister of Communications and Transport Kapembwa Simbao said the government will this year review the national Information and Communication Technology (ICT) policy of 2006 to make it more responsive to the development of ICT in the country, including digital financial services.

Kalunga was reacting to the results of the latest survey by the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) which showed that the majority (58.1%) of Zambians aware of digital financial services are in urban areas, while rural areas accounted for only 41.9%.

The survey also revealed that 86% of Zambians aged ten years or older do not have a bank account.

Kalunga said since there are just a few banks in rural areas, the government is supposed to promote digital financial services to bridge the unbanked gap. "The number of unbanked Zambians could have been reduced had the Zambian government done enough to promote financial inclusion through digital financial services. The Zambian government needs to carry out sensitisation campaigns on this matter especially in rural areas."

Officials have conceded that not enough has been done. Minister Simbao said "Government is continually striving to put appropriate policy to promote the development of ICT in the country and this year, we will be reviewing the national ICT policy."

MTN Zambia, Airtel Zambia, Zoona, FNB and Shoprite are several financial services providers operating in the country.

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