Financial inclusion critical to uplift people’s living standards: Min Ncube

Staff Reporter

The Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Professor Mthuli Ncube has said that financial inclusion was very vital in uplifting the living standards of people.

Professor Ncube has said this yesterday while speaking at the launch of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy II (NFIS II) in Harare.

“Financial inclusion is critical to up lifting the living standards of people and addressing poverty. It is indeed my honor and pleasure to officiate at the launch of the  National Financial Inclusion Strategy II which runs from 2022 to 2026.It clearly overlaps the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS I),” said Professor Ncube.

 Professor Ncube articulated that the NFIS II was at the core of inclusive and sustainable economic growth as it facilitates not only the integration of the unbanked into the formal economy but massive creation of entrepreneurs as well as small and micro businesses which will reduce economic inequality and make the poor less vulnerable to financial shocks.

The Minister highlighted that the NFSI II resonates well with the Government`s NDS1.

“I note with a lot of pride and gratification that the NFSI II resonates very well with the Government`s NDS 1 which runs from the period 2021 to 2025 whose goal  is to ensure high acceleration and inclusive economic growth as well as socio-economic transformation and development towards an upper middle income society by 2030,” he said.

Minister Ncube further reiterated that financial inclusion was pivotal in the attainment of the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

“As many of you would know, Zimbabwe is a signatory to the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Declaration on Gender Finance. Financial inclusion is pivotal in the attainment of these global commitments which we have made as a country. The NFIS II dovetails very well with our country`s development objectives as enunciated in the NDSI and the NFIS II will be the lubricant to facilitate attainment of our objectives,” said the Minister.

Minister Ncube articulated that the National Financial Inclusion II would revolve around four pillars namely; Financial Innovation, Financial Consumer Protection and Financial Capability, Micro financing, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) and Entrepreneurship Development, and Devolution.

Meanwhile, the NFIS II succeeds the NFSI One  of 2016 to 2020.The NFIS II further reinforces Zimbabwe`s commitment to the May Declaration and Denarau Action Plan (DAP) on gender inclusive finance and gender equality. This is in line with President Mnangagwa`s mantra of leaving no place and no one behind in terms of development.