Inch by inch, Zambians are beginning to realize the benefits of the Digital Economy. Digital financial services have grown from adult usage of 2% in 2014 to 24% by the end of 2017.

2018 was a period of significant growth and innovation in the Digital Financial Services (DFS) market in Zambia. The industry had seen a rise in the level of innovation taking place with the advent of more FinTech companies playing a role in designing solutions that address the challenges of real Zambians in the real economy. These photos give you a glimpse into UNCDF’s role in advancing the needs, wants and aspirations of every Zambian.

We collaborated with our UN Colleagues as part of being “One UN” – with UNHCR to help digitize payments to refugees in Meheba, and with WFP to help make the Maano app for farmers more usable and helpful – both buyers and sellers. We supported the Kazang team not only on their company strategy but also their agent management systems. We celebrated and recognized the great work of the digital finance ecosystem by hosting the Digital Chikwama Awards. And lastly, we launched the findings of our research, “Labour pains: The financial lives of Zambian mothers”.

All of this work came after weeks or months of engagement with Zambians from all geographies who have different aspirations for their lives. We hope this photo gallery gives you a taste of what drives us to do better every day, to bridge the digital and real economies of Zambians. Cheers to 2018, and what good we can bring to 2019! Please let us know what you think via our Twitter page.

Salifya Nakamba, an enumerator interviewing a Zambian Mother in Lusaka. We conducted a research study with over 750 mothers across 4 provinces in Zambia. The objective was to map the financial lives of mothers, pinpoint the challenges they face and highlight the potential for digital financial services to address some of these challenges.

The research suggests specific financial products that would be useful to mothers and women, as well as other customer segments.

Check out the executive summary here.

UNHCR has been providing cash-based assistance to refugees in Zambia since 2014. In April 2018, through a joint collaboration with UNHCR and UNCDF, cash-based interventions to refugees have now been digitized.

We worked with UNHCR to digitize refugee payments in Meheba. This is Mirriam, one of the refugees who expressed her joy (and relief) after she began to receive payments through her phone. You can watch it below.

All DFS stakeholders work hand in hand with the Media to address one of the biggest challenges to DFS uptake: meaningful awareness. To build the capacity of the Zambian media to effectively cover DFS and financial inclusion issues in the country, we cohosted a media workshop with the Zambia Institute for Mass Communications (ZAMCOM) on February 23, 2018.

Chief Customer Officer at Zoona Zambia, speaking at the ICT4D Conference in May. This conference, organized by Catholic Relief Services was hosted in Lusaka in 2018, where UNCDF was asked to be the Financial Inclusion Track Lead. We nominated Misozi to speak about her experience, especially as a successful agent at Zoona. She serves an example of how Zambian women entrepreneurs can be successful in the DFS environment.

Focusing on a third-party provider in Zambia, Kazang Prepaid, this case study was part of Global Learning Agenda series of the UNCDF MM4P programme in digital finance. It explored Kazang’s approach to dealing with the classic challenges impeding the expansion of profitable and sustainable agent networks in Zambia. You can watch video below.

Lazarous Kamanga, Director Banking, Currency and Payment Systems at Bank of Zambia, delivering the Keynote address at the launch of the state of the UNCDF DFS State of the Industry Report.

The report provides key insights into the state of the Zambian DFS market, drawing on data collected through the 2018 UNCDF-MM4P Annual Provider Survey (APS), and complemented by data from other sources such as GSMA and the Agent Network Accelerator Survey conducted by The Helix Institute of Digital Finance.

UNCDF partnered with WFP to support the enhancement of the Maano App. The goal of the partnership was to develop a user interface (UI) that was friendly and accessible by a diverse set of farmers and traders, addressing some of the most pressing challenges small holder farmers face, such as lack of access to markets, financing, transportation and transaction costs. The app was launched by the World Food Programme (WFP) in 2017 to help both buyers and rural Zambian smallholder farmers (SHFs) to increase their profitability and the scale of their businesses.

Farmers learning to use the Maano App

Douglas Zulu, Bank of Zambia, speaking about his experience when working with InvestTrust at UNCDF’s Digital Coffee Session, focused on building the DFS capacity of Zambians.

Following the introduction of the 2017 Digital Chikwama Awards, we continued to celebrate the efforts of individuals and organizations that have contributed significantly to advancing digital finance in Zambia in 2018.

From Left to Right: Sabine Mensah (Regional Technical Specialist for West Africa-UNCDF), Patrick Mutimushi (Director General-ZICTA) and Nandini Harihareswara (Regional Technical Specialist-UNCDF).

Award Winners at the 2018 Digital Chikwama Awards

Left to Right: Sabine Mensah (Regional Technical Specialist- UNCDF), Brad Mcgrath (MD Zoona Zambia), Janice Matwi (Kazang), Nandini Harihareswara (Regional Technical specialist-UNCDF) and Edmund Barwuah (Head- Mobile financial Services-MTN).

Robert Oliver and Emmanuel Gondwe (World Food Programme).

A Zoona Agent captured during one of our field visits to DFS providers’ agents.

Dr. Tukiya Kanasa-Maluba, Deputy Governor Administration - Bank of Zambia, giving the Keynote Speech at the launch of the Zambian Mothers Research Report.

In addition to research, we also created videos after interviewing several mothers in Jay Village. Here are Miriam Mwaba and Philes Soko, highlighted in the video.

Mirriam Mwaba
Philes Soko

Thank you for the partnership in 2018!

For more information on our work in 2018, visit www.uncdf.org/zambia and follow us on twitter


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