Maputo, Mozambique, 2 Dec – Banking services cover less than half of Mozambique, as just 60 of the country’s 120 districts have access to banks, the deputy minister for State Administration, José Tsambe said in Maputo.
Speaking during the launch of the Programme to Support Rural Finances in Mozambique, the deputy minister said access to financial services was still and obstacle to the country’s development in general and the rural economy in particular.
Meanwhile, daily newspaper Notícias reported that the Fund to Support Economic Rehabilitation (FARE), since September 2005 has approved a total of 74 investment projects as part of the expansion of financial institutions into rural areas, covering the 68 districts that still have no financial services, particularly credit and savings.
Ricardo Isabel, who was speaking on behalf of the chairman of FARE, said that the Programme to Support Rural Finances aims to contribute to economic growth and relieving poverty by providing funding to financial institutions interested in expanding access to their financial services and products to rural areas.
It is expected that over the eight years of the programme the climate for expanding financial services into rural areas will improve, the banking system will attract a further 125,000 customers, around 1,000 new community-based financial associations will be created, covering over 30,000 members as well as generating an increase in income-generating activities in rural areas.
The Programme to Support Rural Finances is the result of a partnership between the Mozambican government, the International Agricultural Development Fund and the African Development Bank. (macauhub)