The Value of Financial Inclusion in Zimbabwe’s Rural Development

A recent World Bank review of 33 developing countries indicated that in almost all of them the proportion of the population living below the poverty line was significantly greater in the rural than in urban areas, typically by between 30 and 150%.  Financial Inclusion in Agriculture, facilitates the process of Social and Economic development; promoting Poverty reduction, Economic growth, Greater democracy (including improved respect for human rights and the rule of law) and; Environmental and institutional sustainability. According to SEPA here in finer detail are the benefits of Financial Inclusion:

  1. Access to financial services enables the poorest and most vulnerable in society to step out of poverty and reduces the inequality in society
  2. Financial inclusion not only helps individuals and families, but collectively it develops entire communities and can help drive economic growth
  3. Financial inclusion is about enabling and empowering people and communities:
  • Enabling people to have the ability and tools to manage and save their money
  • Empowering people with the skills and knowledge to make the right financial decisions
  1. Participation within the financial system leads to all kinds of individual benefits, including:
  • Ability to start and grow a business, which gives people an opportunity through micro-financing schemes for example to better long-term prospects
  • Being able to pay for an education for children, which in turn enables a new generation of educated and informed individuals
  • The ability to handle uncertainties that require ad hoc and unexpected payments or ‘financial shocks’
  1. Financial inclusion through access to an account, savings and a payment system (whatever that maybe) enables potential and empowers men, women and whole communities. This in turn promotes:
  • Investment within the community, provides jobs and again research shows that employment boosts status, income and one’s outlook on life. Collectively this helps to invigorate economies.
  • Equality both within the community and within families Long before Parliamentarians questioned the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) over the late and occasionally erratic distribution of Agricultural inputs; Lion Finance answered the call of the Zimbabwean government to assist rural farmers with funding for improving on national food security and Rural Development.

To date, Lion Finance have disbursed more than $500 000 to more than 1000 rural farmers in a bid to promote financial inclusion among Rural Entrepreneurs.