A programme aimed at enhancing financial resilience among Malawians has been rolled out, specifically targeting women and the youth to be involved in the digital finance evolution.
The programme will be implemented using €1 million (about K1 billion) from the European Commission, the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) and United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF).
The four-year digital finance for resilience programme aims to leverage digital finance to spearhead financial inclusion and increase access to other digital services, thus improving the lives of end users.
During a virtual launch of the programme recently, Head of Cooperation at the European Commission Ivo Hoefkens said the initiative is central to the EU’s response to Covid.
“The EU recognises the importance of Digital Financial Services for Malawi to build back better. The adoption and usage of digital financial services will help to increase financial inclusion during these difficult times, especially for women and youth,” Hoefkens said.
UNCDF Digital Finance Coordinator Iris Kissiti said the vision is to promote digital economies that leave no one behind.
“Digital transformation plays a key role in Malawi through its impact on improving governing efficiency, transforming the agriculture and energy sector, improving health, and education and addressing inequality.
“The pace and intensity of digital transformation, however, must ensure that people, particularly the youth, women and marginalised groups, are not excluded but empowered to use services in their daily lives that leverage innovation and technology and contribute to achieving the SDGs,” Kissiti said.
Principal Secretary for Administration in the Ministry of Finance Hetherwick Njati said Covid has provided a push factor for the government to speed up work towards building an inclusive digital economy which can be achieved through increased reach and usage of digital financial services across the country.
“This initiative is timely and an addition to government’s efforts in attaining the SDGs. Among the pillars, the private sector is expected to play its part by providing innovative and inclusive digital products to the people,” Njati said.
The programme will see organisations applying for grants and loans for projects that promote women and the youth getting employment as mobile money agents.