Only 7.4% of Senegal’s adult population has a bank account. It is particularly difficult for the rural population to access financial services, as there are no banking services in their regions and the prerequisites for opening an account are complicated. Women, who are especially affected by this situation, are disadvantaged in terms of their opportunities of having a sustainable economic activity. Their domestic workload, social norms and power imbalances make this situation worse.
Mobile Financial Services (MFS) are booming in Senegal and could be the response to these challenges. However, they are not suitable for disadvantaged rural communities, due to the lack of local assistance, services tailored to their needs and a network of available officers.
The Digital Inclusion, Digital Savings and Technological Innovations project (INEDIT) follows on from the Saving for Change (SfC) programs led by Oxfam. These initiatives have created hundreds of group savings funds in villages and neighborhoods.
This project’s main activities involve training beneficiaries in how to use digital technologies, distributing mobile equipment to them and developing appropriate financial services so that they can use them to develop their economic activity.
To carry out this project, Oxfam has partnered with the Senegalese NGO La Lumière, the Union of Community Mutualist Institutions of Savings and Credit (UIMCEC) and the start-up Intouch, which is specialized in aggregating digital means of payment.
- Over 13,000 people, including 9,000 women, will acquire new digital knowledge. They will use their mobile phones for their economic activities
- 600 savings groups, including 475 women’s groups, and 16 economic interest groups (EIGs) will be economically and financially empowered through improved access to mobile financial services in rural areas
- Policy makers will be sensitized and engaged in the development of rural finance tailored to the needs of women and young people
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