More Tanzanians now embracing money services

03Nov 2017
The Guardian
More Tanzanians now embracing money services

WHILE there has been an encouraging increase in the number of Tanzanians using financial services from 16 per cent in 2009 to 65 percent this year,

the youth who constitute the majority of the population are lagging behind at 48 per cent, new research findings on financial inclusion in the country show.

According to the findings report released recently, this discrepancy on the part of the youth is mainly due to lack of collateral, identification documents, and financial education.

The report points out that the percentage of youths aged 16 and above using financial services in the country rose from 29 in 2009 to 48.6 this year. But it also underlines that this is still low compared to their more adult counterparts who, it says, are favoured by access to resources and documents.

Since youths are estimated to form more than 60 per cent of Tanzania’s current estimated 50 million population, this can be interpreted to mean that financial services are leaving behind a huge chunk of human resource energy that can be prone to criminal activities if not properly engaged in economic activities.

The report in question is titled ‘FinScope Tanzania 2017: Insights That Drive Innovation’. It has been produced by the Financial Sector Deepening Trust (FSDT) following research work done in collaboration with various partners including the Bank of Tanzania (BoT), Ministry of Finance and Planning, and National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Another key finding contained in the 67-page document is that while at least 10 per cent of adult Tanzanians have some sort of land ownership documentation, only 3 per cent have genuine title deeds to back their claims.

It is stated that 37 per cent of adult Tanzanians personally own the land they live on (sole ownership), 6 per cent own the land with someone else, and 51 per cent have no claims to ownership.

While half of Tanzanian men are sole owners of the piece of land they live on, less than a third of Tanzanian women own the land they live on. Co-ownership among females (9 per cent) is said to be higher than among males (2 per cent.)

It is further observed in the report that only 9 per cent of Tanzanians own national identification cards, but 83 per cent of mainland Tanzanians have voter registration cards and 71 per cent in Zanzibar have resident IDs.

Recently BoT governor Prof Benno Ndulu noted that the percentage of the rural population now enjoying proper financial services has also grown from 11 per cent in 2009 to 57 percent this year.

“The existing gap can be filled by providing more education, especially to youths and women, on the importance of using financial services as is the case with mobile money services,” said Prof Ndulu.

According to data contained in the report, mobile money service use grew from 50 per cent in 2013 to 60 percent in 2017, commercial bank services dropped from 14 to 13 percent, insurance services grew from 13 to 15 per cent, and SACCOS services however dropped from 3 to 2 per cent.

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