Eastern Africa News Network

Financial Inclusion Boom as Money Goes Digital in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania

Enterprise surveys conducted in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania, are indicating that the use of mobile money by manufacturing and service firms is associated with over 16 percent increase in the likelihood of investing.

That is among the issues coming up at the ongoing meetings of the African Financial Inclusion Policy Initiative and AfPI Leaders’ Roundtable taking place in Arusha.

This is the first time that AFI’s largest regional initiative is meeting physically in-person since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bank of Tanzania and AFI are co-hosting the meetings of AFI members in Africa, focusing on how digitization of inclusive finance can ensure stability, growth and sustainability.

Central Bank Governors and deputy Governors share policy solutions that drive digital financial inclusion and remove barriers faced by the region’s vulnerable groups such as women, youth, micro, small and medium size enterprises and other inexplicably excluded communities.

“These regional meetings on financial inclusion are critical in sharing ideas on practical policy implementation in advancing financial inclusion,” states the Bank of Tanzania Governor Prof Florens Luoga.

According to Prof Luoga, the meetings review progress made in fostering inclusive finance in the countries, and hatch ways for expanding private and public collaboration in ensuring, accessible and affordable digital inclusive financial services.


Africa is experiencing a digital revival, coupled with increasing connectivity and access to mobile phones, which could drive inclusive growth and innovative digital financial services.

The GSMA, an institution which represents the interest of mobile operators worldwide, has predicted that the current reforms in mobile money indicate that the development could lead to more than 110 million new mobile money accounts being added in Africa over the next five years.

The institution highlights the impact that greater financial inclusion has on lives, economies and innovation, especially in emerging markets.


With over 40 percent of the country’s population transacting digitally, Tanzania is cited to be among the world’s leaders in mobile cash transfers.

Data from the International Statics compilation entity, Statista indicate that by June 2019, the country’s mobile money transactions had reached the value of USD 3.6 billion.

That was garnered from more than 23 million mobile money subscriptions.

Measured against the total population of approximately 56 million, it is explained that over 40 percent of Tanzanians made use of mobile money technology in 2019.

Only a small minority of Tanzanians, in fact less than 15 percent of the country’s population, have access to traditional banking services.

Mobile money dealings clouded off the traditional banking systems in terms of reach, users and transactions.

The Bank of Tanzania reported 22.4 million active customers in 2019, a remarkable increase in less than a decade, compared to 1 million customers listed in 2010).

Central Bank of Tanzania: Digital advancements place banks on palms of East Africa Residents

As of this year 2022 the number according to Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) has reached 32 Million.

Even mainstream banks now are going mobile, many have synced their services through mobile applications in order to also cash from the digital development.

Mobile money users in Tanzania record around 257 million transactions in a month, according to data from Statista.

As a regional and global leader in the AFI network in inclusive Fintech, the Government in Tanzania laid the foundational and supportive infrastructure to facilitate inclusive digitization and financial services that apply the digital plan.

“Through AFI’s services that hinge on peer-learning and knowledge exchange, coupled with technical support, partnerships, and capacity building, AFI members in Africa have reported over 150 policy changes between 2019 and 2021,” says the AFI Executive Director Dr Alfred Hannig.

Dr Hannig

Dr Hannig the changes were made in digital financial services, national financial inclusion strategy and SME finance. He was positive that such development will contribute to attainment of the targets of several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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