HARARE – Post Offices can play a significant role in driving financial inclusion to the extent that they able to innovate and adopt new technologies, Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Minister Supa Mandiwanzira has said.
“Postal administrators can play a key role in bringing financial inclusion to the unbanked population if they focus on postal network upgrading and modernization; adoption and deployment of relevant technology to ensure real-time transacting as a way of capacitating postal administrations…and coming up with workable models that facilitate financial inclusion,” he said.
He was speaking at the official opening the Universal Postal Union Digital Financial Services and Financial Inclusion Workshop for English speaking African countries this morning.
Minister Mandiwanzira added that it was also critical for Postal administrations to partner with central banks in ensuring implementation of financial inclusion strategies.
The Government, through the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, promulgated the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (2016 – 2020) aimed at increasing the overall access to financial services in the country.
The key goal of the strategy is to boost the country’s banked adult population from 30 percent in 2014 to over 60 percent by 2020.
He said postal services providers should take advantage of their extensive geographical presence to promote financial inclusion of marginalised populations.
“Recognising the broadening of access to and usage of financial services, it is critical that all postal administrations and governments take keen interest in the immediate implementation of financial inclusion strategies,” he said.
“This will stimulate a culture of financial savings and investment which will in turn lead to significant poverty reduction and elimination of inequalities, promotion of economic growth as well as financial and political stability.”
The Government through the ICT Ministry established the Universal Services Fund (USF) with the goal of providing information and communication technologies reach to marginalised communities in rural areas throughout the country.
And according to the minister the USF will play a critical role in “securing adequate financial resources and cash flows for postal service providers to be able to undertake transactions.”