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Date of Publication2017062
PublisherAfrican Community of Practice on Management for Development result at the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF)
Number of Pages9 pages
Geographical CoverageZimbabwe
KeywordsWomen and Entreprenurship, Women and Finance, Women and Informal Saving, Women and Self Financed Investment
AbstractAbout 100 million African women are involved in informal banking. The main causes of their formal financial exclusion are low education; poverty; traditional legal and sociocultural constraints; and conflicting domestic and professional roles. Informal banking provides a platform for enhancing the financial inclusion of these women while accelerating their empowerment and social and economic security. This case study is derived from activities of women from the Chinamhora communal area close to Harare in Zimbabwe. It focuses on Kutamburira Musha (which means toiling for the home or family), an informal women’s banking group formed under the Wadzanai Community Development Association (WCDA), a community-based organization involved in community self-funded activities. The study highlights the positive impacts of informal banking and investment groups in women’s socioeconomic development, and presents policy recommendations. Key findings. Women enhanced their social and economic security, acquired decision-making power in households, and overcame constraints imposed by male-dominated market forces. Additionally, capacity building programs from Kutamburira Musha empowered the women with skills that built group confidence and ensured successful outcomes. Subsequently the group improved the financial security of its members. Key lessons. Rotational savings and credit associations (ROSCAs) can partner with financial services businesses, as shown by Econet Savings (EcoSavings) clubs in Zimbabwe. This model can be adapted for financial inclusion and mainstreamed in managing approaches promoted by regional bodies like the Southern Africa Development Community, African Union, and the African Development Bank to support governments in enhancing the economic inclusion of women and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2063. Main recommendations. Financial inclusion of women has to be built into all entrepreneurial services and products. It is important to review the legal and regulatory framework and ensure that it caters to married, divorced, single, and young women and men, without discrimination; and to encourage couples to register property such as land and houses jointly or ensure that they have equal access to marital property. More user-friendly models and institutions should be built—using the experiences of institutions and organizations such as WCDA that have tapped the capacities of marginalized groups—to enhance financial inclusion of poorer groups and reduce the costs and conditions of financial transactions.
Copyright HolderAfrican Community of Practice (AfCoP)
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Filesize693641 MB
File FormatPDF
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