Financial Sector Deepening Zambia (FSDZ) has announced a £21.95 million five-year commitment from UKAid, part of a £320 million package that will initiate an ambitious new phase of financial sector development across Africa.
And UK International Development Secretary Alok Sharma says the funds will make it easier and more secure to invest in Africa and mobilize billions of pounds of sustainable investment to help end poverty.
In a statement, Tuesday, Chair of the FSD Network Council and FSD Zambia CEO Betty Wilkinson announced that FSDZ would use the £21.95 million responsibly to deepen financial inclusion, make money work to increase incomes and reduce poverty in the country.
“On behalf of the nine existing members of the FSD Network and those new FSDs in formation, our sincere gratitude to the UK government for this generous, constructive, and thoughtful five-year commitment. We pledge to broaden and deepen our innovative work across Africa to make money work for low-income families, women, youth, the excluded, and those who need financial services the most. This new package will enable us to apply finance – in all its forms – to the challenge of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The FSD Network will enhance livelihoods for poor people; improve access to basic human services where finance is a barrier; and enable a sustainable future, particularly addressing the financial aspects of climate change and illicit capital flows. At FSD Zambia, we are excited to receive this key grant from UKAid. As a Zambian organization, we will use these resources responsibly to deepen financial inclusion, make money work to increase incomes and reduce poverty, and enable sustainable futures for the women, men, and children of our country,” read the statement issued by FSDZ communications manager Eneya Phiri.
“FSD Zambia will channel this commitment to, among other efforts, deepen financial inclusion in Zambia, build on the success of our work with Savings Groups that so far has contributed to the establishment of 7,900 groups with savings totalling almost ZMW100 million. Evidence shows that Savings Groups enable both learning and economic empowerment for low-income households and individuals, especially in rural areas. Furthermore, FSD Zambia will utilize these resources to expand support to the extension of appropriate agriculture insurance to smallholder farmers in Zambia, particularly in light of climate change. With these funds, FSD Zambia will also deepen work with the Ministry of General Education on introducing the Financial Education curriculum from grade 1 to 12. We believe this is a significant step towards growing a generation of financially capable Zambians.”
And Sharma said that Africa had substantial investment potential.
“Africa’s substantial investment potential is clear, with many African countries outstripping global economic growth in recent decades. The UK is already the top financial exchange for Africa’s businesses, and we want investors to seize the exciting opportunities that Africa offers. These new initiatives, announced ahead of the UK-Africa Investment Summit, will make it easier, greener and more secure to invest in Africa, mobilizing billions of pounds of sustainable investment to help end poverty,” said Sharma.
The £21.95 million five-year commitment from UK Aid is part of a £320m package that will initiate an ambitious new phase of financial sector development across the African continent.
The funds were announced ahead of the UK-Africa Investment Summit London, which commenced, Monday, and the package includes: additional funding for 9 existing Financial Sector Deepening Programmes (FSDs) and to set up and scale new FSDs in high-priority markets, including Ethiopia, Ghana, Sierra Leone and the West African Monetary Union.