Promoting Inclusive Markets and Financial Systems
Village Savings and Loans: A Pathway to Financial Inclusion for Africa’s Poorest Households
For Africa’s poorest and most marginalized households, financial inclusion is a long way off. Few institutions exist in the rural areas, and where institutions do exist they often have inappropriate products and services. The reality is most extremely poor households have neither the assets nor the skills to interact with formal institution, even those dedicated to reaching the poor. This paper looks at baseline data collected as part of an ongoing impact assessment across three countries implementing large scale Village Savings and Loan (VSL) programs: Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda. The baseline data provides evidence of the poverty levels of target communities, and identifies the needs for and barriers to formal financial inclusion in poor remote communities. When combined with periodic data collected on Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) in those same communities, we gain significant insight into how membership in a VSLA helps to change financial habits and accumulate assets. Click Here.