Globally, financial inclusion programs have revolutionized the dreams of billions of low-income populations formerly excluded from formal financial services and provided paths for significant chances to access a broad variety of financial goods and services.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe developed the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) phase 1, through a consultative process to provide strategic direction and to systematically accelerate financial inclusion initiatives in Zimbabwe, which was officially launched by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development on 11 March 2016. This was a 5-year program which came to a close in 2021 and RBZ is currently putting in place a framework for phase 2 which is set to run for another 5-year period.
For Zimbabwe, this is a significant step towards establishing an inclusive financial system that allows previously unbanked and underserved Zimbabweans to participate economically. New technology and communications infrastructure have accelerated financial inclusion activities significantly, since the introduction of the NFIS program. However, despite global and local tendencies towards greater financial inclusion, major hurdles persist, particularly for some groups of the population.