Policies and Strategies
In order to grow and transform the financial sector, Government developed the Financial Sector Development Policy, which was launched by the Hon. Minister of Finance in November 2017. The Policy provides a holistic approach for Government to offer strategic guidance and coordinate overall financial sector development initiatives in the country, with the aim of having a well-developed and inclusive financial system that supports efficient resource mobilization and investment for sustainable economic development. The Policy comes after Zambia's first and second Financial Sector Development Plans (FSDPs), which ran in two successive five-year cycles from 2004 to 2009 and from 2010 to 2015. The FSDPs were meant to address weaknesses in the Zambian financial system and broaden the financial sector by focusing on legal reforms and corporate governance; payment systems; market efficiency and contractual savings; financial education; and access to finance and financial markets.
The National Financial Inclusion Strategy 2017-2022
Government launched the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) in November 2017, whose main goal is to 'achieve universal access to and usage of a broad range of quality and affordable financial services that meet the needs of individuals and enterprises'. The overall high-level targets for the NFIS are to have 80 percent of the population financially included (formally and/or informally) and 70 percent of the adult population formally financially included by 2022. The strategy will help to bring the unbanked and under-served population into the formal financial system by among others, exploiting technological advancements which have created opportunities for expanding access and usage of financial services.
In line with the strategy, the Bank of Zambia has set specific targets in its 2016-19 strategic plan to increase formal financial inclusion from 59.3% in 2015 to 75.3% by 2019.