Our vision is for the financial inclusion of eighty percent of Ethiopians’, particularly those in poverty. This inclusion would entail access to financial institutions that provide appropriate products and services through innovative solutions, resulting in more accounts with more deposits.
Ethiopia is the tenth largest country in Africa by size, and its second most populous. Ethiopia also has one of the lowest financial access rates in Sub-Saharan Africa, with only 14 percent of adults having access to credit. However, Ethiopia is the fastest growing non-oil economy in Africa and has been active in promoting economic growth. The GTP outlines investment opportunities in the agricultural and industrial sectors, along with plans to build basic infrastructure in important industrial zones. Improving the financial sector is also one of the objectives of the GTP, which includes modernization of the national payment system.
Enterprise Partners works to include those excluded from accessing financial services in Ethiopia through a two-pronged approach: addressing both the regulatory environment and promoting access to financial services using the latest technology. We address regulatory and policy issues through contact with policy makers and regulators, building knowledge in the sector and information on digital financial services in particular. This is expected to lead to a greater appetite for digital finance implementation as part of the government’s national financial inclusion strategy.
Other initiatives undertaken by Enterprise Partners, relating to digital financial services, include the promotion of agent banking systems, tiered KYC (know your customer), and ‘mobile money’ (bill payment, bus-ticketing and other micro-payments using a mobile phone). By 2020, Enterprise Partners seeks to have opened 350,000 new bank accounts, with 75 percent of these opened by women.
Theory of Change
Enterprise Partners has interventions in the digital finance market focusing on developing agent networks, as well as establishing regulations and frameworks toward electronic payment systems to encourage a cashless economy. Interventions such as mobile bill payments, SACCO agency banking, and transaction pool study – all focus on how to make access to financial services easier for those at the base of the economic pyramid. As a result, those with limited access to financial services, will utilise digital money methods, and intra-personal money transfers.