The Financial Inclusion Week (FIW) 2020 ended a few days ago[1], there were many days of conversations and debates around the most important steps for advancing financial inclusion. The FIW is an annual gathering of the global community working to advance inclusive finance, the event is organized by the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion since 2015.

The overall objective of FIW is to (1) bring the entire financial inclusion community together to explore issues of financial inclusion beyond access, (2) to create leadership opportunities among diverse stakeholders, (3) to create dialogue and community and (4) to foster partnership and coordination within the financial industry.

These year themes were:

  • Services for Mitigating and Adapting to Climate Risk;
  • Women’s Financial Inclusion;
  • Data Opportunities and Risks for Financial Inclusion and
  • Consumer Protectin.

The Financial Sector Deepening Mozambique (FSDMoç) has been a partner of these initiative since 2016, helping to disseminate the event in Mozambique including different learning opportunities such as webinars using FSDMoç social media and website, as well as by holding targeted events.

The week started with a Facebook live session, on Wednesday October 14, 2020, with the theme: Social norms – how they affect women’s financial inclusion, this session was under the Women’s Financial Inclusion theme, the guest Speaker for this session was Anabela Mabota – Knowledge, Monitoring & Learning Manager at FSDMoç. The objective of the live session was to bring to debate some of the social norms that can affect women’s financial inclusion, look at some of the most common barriers around women’s financial inclusion, and what can be done to over come these barriers. The live session reached over 256 people and during the session some topics were raised as for example the link Women and Savings Groups; it is known that women in general and particularly rural women – are among the most financially excluded populations due to a variety of formal and informal barriers to formal financial services and Savings Groups become more appealing to women given the low legal, economic and social barriers to entry. The proximity to home, and the proximity to yourself for example the possibility to be able to keep your savings on the mobile phone and small flexible transactions are all components of Savings Groups that make them a suitable service for women in underserved markets. One other point was that the Financial Service Providers (FSPs) should create attractive products for women to enter the formal system.

Sandra Bila a participant of the live session said “Thank you for these reflections. Super important and relevant theme for the Mozambican context.”

See the session on this link:

The 2nd event of the week, on Friday October 16, 2020, was a webinar: Consumer Protection, under the theme with the same topic. The webinar had as guest speakers Salomão David from Communications Regulatory Authority of Mozambique (ARECOM); Francisco Nhavoto from Mozambique Central Bank – Behavioral Supervision Department, Titos Melchior Izyshop co-founder, and was moderated by Entrepreneur and Motivational Speaker Denise Cortês-Keyser. The session objective was to discuss emerging consumer protection issues such as fraud, transparency and redress mechanisms. Digital technologies have transformed the way financial services are provided, creating opportunities to bring services to many previously neglected or needy people around the world. This has been especially true in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, where digital payments have been widely leveraged to deliver emergency money transfer payments, remittances, loan disbursements and repayments, insurance payments and more. Although this infrastructure has proved extremely valuable considering the limits to movement and measures of social detachment to combat the spread of the virus, it has also brought with it a wave of new concerns for consumer protection. The webinar had 37 participants. See the webinar in these Link:

On Wednesday October 28, 2020 FSDMoç organized the 3rd event under the FIW, these time was a webinar on Financial Services for Mitigating and Adapting to Climate Risk, the webinar had as guest speakers César Tique from African Development Bank, Evans Osano from Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Africa, Israel Muchena – Hollard Mozambique Insurance Company, S.A and was moderated by Benedito Murambire – Financial Sector Deepening Mozambique (FSDMoç). This webinar wanted to bring to the debate this issue of climate change/Climate Risk, which in our view is a relatively new issue in the context of Mozambique and provide basics linking Financial services – Climate Risk – Financial Inclusion,  In other words, how financial sector can contribute to financial deepening while addressing the climate risk (type of risks, impacts on the low-income population), and improving the living conditions of the marginalized segments (low income population, youth, women, etc).

“The webinar provided us with a unique opportunity to review and discuss key measures that we could consider implementing in Mozambique in order to manage climate-related risks and to ensure adaptation of our economy, in view of the changing climatic conditions we shall face in the future. Following the presentation of some of the key instruments for climate risk mitigation, it is now up to us as well as other key stakeholders including our policy makers and their development partners to plan and implement appropriate policies after the necessary consultative processes.

Entities such as FSD could play a critical role in supporting market-based initiatives of climate risk mitigation such as index-based insurance. Hollard has already initiated application of the climate risk mitigation instrument for crops, which we now need to scale with local partners, aggregators and exploration of distribution channels such as mobile technology. The next goal of Hollard is to explore index models for protection of livestock against climate risks.” Said Israel Muchena Divisional Managing Director – Agricultural Insurance at Hollard Mozambique Insurance Company. S.A

Being a topic that raised a lot of interest, FSDMoç as next steps will hold a series of follow-up meetings with each of the three partners. FSDA with respect to the capital, credit and risk markets; Africa Development Bank for projects in Mozambique with a component of mitigation and adaptation to climate risk; and Hollard with a focus on climate insurance.

The webinar had 25 participants. Please see the webinar on these Link:

[1] The FIW was officially from October 13 to 16 but specifically for Mozambique we extended the celebrations until October 31 so it will end with the celebrations of the International Savings Day.

Denise Alves