In 2016, the government of Mozambique announced the launch of the ‘One District, One Bank’ program which was embedded in the ‘National Financial Inclusion Strategy’ for the period 2016-2022.
The purpose of the program being to promote the development of banks in each district. Also, the program intends to ensure more than half of the population has access to formal financial services, particularly in rural areas.
Prior to the launch of the program in 2016 only 78 districts out of 150 had a bank branch. The government has pledged to accelerate development of banks in rural areas by the end of this year. This month, FNDS and Millennium-BIM signed a Memorandum of Understanding to open twelve branches in various districts. As it stands, leading commercial bank, Millennium-BIM will expand its services to districts such as Nampula, Manica and Cabo Delgado to mention a few.
According to the deputy minister of Culture and Tourism, Ana Comoana,107 districts already have a bank branch, which means coverage of 69.5%, and the government’s goal is to have the remaining 47 branches open by the end of the year. She also added,
“The ‘One district, one bank’ project was established to speed up the process of financial inclusion in rural areas, providing the districts with at least one bank branch.”
It is evident that the program continues to play a significant role in rural development as well as, promoting financial inclusion.