‘Promote technology for financial inclusion’

SADC has appealed to technocrats in the regional bloc to come up with innovative ways of promoting uptake of technology to facilitate mobile financial transactions, products and services at a low cost, while providing necessary consumer protection.

In a keynote address at the Sadc Financial Inclusion Forum, held in South Africa last week, Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa challenged the policy makers and regulators to engage pro-actively with innovators and financial service providers and collectively agree on measures that enable the bloc to take advantage of technological innovations.

“We expect clear and unambiguous proposals on guidelines on addressing both demand and supply-side challenges faced by Micro Small and Medium Enterprises in accessing finance and markets so that they can expand their businesses. How can we use technology to enhance their access to market information and to finance? Guidelines on access to credit information on MSMEs and individuals in order to enhance their access to capital by providing information to lenders and credit providers,” said Minister Chinamasa.

Also, Governments are expected to craft guidelines to address the constraints posed by limited access to trade finance to realise Sadc’s vision of increasing regional trade.

“I am therefore appealing to you as the best brains in Sadc to come up with concrete recommendations or guidelines for adoption by the Sadc Council of Ministers.

“Yes, this is a tough ask and a tall order, we believe the gathering here represents the best expertise that Sadc has. We have experts from the public and private sector, the regulatory agencies and development advisers. Your presence here signifies that you are an asset and vital cog in the development of Sadc in general and the enhancement of financial inclusion and the livelihood of its citizens in particular, Sadc is counting on you,” said Minister Chinamasa.

He said since financial inclusion goes to the heart of economic empowerment and the pursuit of livelihood enhancement, the region realised that it could achieve economic integration goals through enhancing the level of financial inclusion in each of the member States.–herald