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Micro Finance Policy

Micro Finance Policy for the Kingdom of Swaziland Approved

The micro finance sector covers only 3 percent of the local adult population despite the high demand for financial services by the micro-entrepreneurs. To better support and enhance the growth of this sector, Cabinet in February 2018 approved the Micro Finance Policy Framework to provide an enabling environment for the growth of this sector and to support the national financial inclusion agenda.

The Micro Finance Policy framework provides a number of benefits that address the constraints currently experienced by the sector and provides the platform for a sustainable microfinance industry. This includes the following:

(i)    Formalisation and Regularisation - Provide an even playing fields in that all providers of micro finance will be registered and licenced and required to adhere to the fair treatment provisions. Tiered licensing structure to categorise Micro Finance Providers (MFPs) as deposit and non-deposit taking to provide holistic financial service needs for micro entrepreneurs including saving, payments and micro insurance services – as well as credit – can be provided by registered MFPs.

 

(ii)  Funding Requirements – Establish a Microfinance Funding Agency (MFA) with the ability to channel funds for disbursement by successful MFPs to enable achievement of some economies of scale and potentially reduce the cost of funding. Support the possibility of using mobile technologies to collect repayments and deposits may reduce costs.

(iii)  Co-ordination and efficacy - The MFA to be a clearinghouse for government funds earmarked for microfinance to enhance the efficiency of such funds and augment the achievements of the relevant departments as MFPs with experience in evaluating and monitoring and collecting microfinance loans will perform these roles on behalf of the state. Act as a conduit for information and policy objectives to provide a necessary link between the microfinance providers and micro entrepreneurs, as well as other value chain linkages that can enhance the opportunities for microenterprise and hence the microfinance sector.

 

(iv)  Financial Inclusion Agenda – To operationalize the implementation of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy for the country through creating an enabling platform that will link the formal financial system with the prevailing needs of the marginalised bottom-of-the-pyramid population and the micro and small businesses. Develop the institutional capacity of the micro finance sector to be viable and sustainable to support the graduation of the low income groups to more elaborate, secure and safe financial products and services.

 

Financial Literacy - Promote financial literacy programs to sensitize and create awareness on the existing financial products and services and to enable the target groups, as well as the micro and small businesses to make well-informed financial decisions.    


The Centre for Financial Inclusion is a semi-autonomous body under the auspices of the Ministry of Finance (MoF) to facilitate access to financial services for micro-entrepreneurs and the un-banked population through creating an enabling environment for the sector.