Minister notes there are still obstacles to accessing financial services in Mozambique

13 September 2012

Mozambique’s Minister for Planning and Development, Aiuba Cuereneia, said Wednesday in Maputo that problems with access to favourable financing conditions in Mozambique in addition to a lack of geographical coverage of financial institutions.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the sixth seminar on rural finance in Africa, Cuereneia added that there are banks in 58 of a total 128 districts in the country, where 117 bank branches had opened by August of this year.

Mozambique, which has a population of 23 million, according to a 2007 census by the National Statistics Institute, has 18 retail banks, eight micro banks, seven credit cooperatives and has a total of 470 branches of banks in the country, 208 of which are in the capital city, Maputo.

A presentation given Wednesday by the Bank of Mozambique showed that 78 percent of the Mozambican population has no access to financial services of any kind.

Saying that the work carried out “is great” but that the challenges faced are still greater, Cuereneia noted initiatives carried out with a view to taking banks into rural areas.

He noted, for example, the government’s approval in 2011 of the “Rural Finance Strategy,” which aims to promote and consolidate a financial system in rural areas, where most of the population lives.

One of the biggest challenges the government faces in attracting banks into rural areas is building facilities and expanding the electricity grid, amongst other factors.

The three-day meeting that brings together delegates from 31 countries is focusing on innovation in rural finance, rural finance with financial systems, and rural cooperatives. (macauhub)