Youth-Inclusive Rural Finance (YIRF)


Millions of Tanzanian young people living in rural areas, in particular young women, are affected by vulnerable employment. Building on successful Swiss experience in youth employment, this initiative aims at increasing gainful self-employment through enhanced financial inclusion. It will support the design, market entrance and upscaling of innovative digital financial products and services tailored to rural youth, including female youth. In order to ensure scale and sustainability, a partnership with the private sector will be developed.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Southern and Eastern Africa
Employment & economic development
Agriculture & food security
Rural development
Agricultural financial services
Business support & economic inclusion
15.09.2024 - 14.09.2028
CHF 2'100'000
Background

Over the last decade, financial inclusion increased from 16% to 65% of the adult population in Tanzania, partly due to the impressive uptake of mobile financial services. Still, a substantial part of the population is financially excluded. Youth are over-represented in the financially excluded population: 34% of them access neither formal nor informal financial services. These youth are predominantly economically active in agriculture. Among youth, young rural women are overrepresented in the financially excluded population segment whilst bearing heavy responsibilities as breadwinners and caretakers for young children. This is due to a lack of available formal financial products that low-income rural youth consider accessible, relevant and intuitive. Being financially excluded means a lack of financial resources to invest and upgrade economic activities, hence the capacity to move out of vulnerable employment, which affects a huge share of Tanzanian youth, in particular young women and youth living in rural areas. At the policy level, the environment is conducive, strategic documents have been formulated in the domain and various financial inclusion initiatives launched.

The proposed program complements current SDC-supported initiatives related to youth employment, which have a focus on Vocational Skills Development. Its overall goal is to increase gainful self-employment of rural youth, through a contribution to increased financial inclusion. The proposed outcomes are:

  • Access to and uptake of financial products: Rural youth, in particular women, have an improved access and use financial services, as a result of financial service providers developing and offering relevant and affordable products.
  • Advocacy and policy dialogue for youth inclusive financial systems: Favorable policy solutions based on regional cross learning enhance the financial inclusion environment, enabling stakeholders to better address the financial needs of rural youth.

This program aims at reaching scalable and sustainable solutions in partnership with a formal financial service provider and other key stakeholders that drive the financial inclusion agenda. It will contribute to the design and the implementation of tailored financial products and services for and with rural youth. Informal financial services exist in Tanzania but have limitations in terms of providing the means youth need to scale up their economic activities; therefore, youth need to be linked with the formal system. We envision the design of a low-cost financial technology solution that bundles a number of services, including saving, micro-credit and an attractive financial literacy program. A specific focus will be on removing barriers and enabling young women to access and better manage their money to invest it in business opportunities or education.

This program consists of two phases. In Phase l, the aim is to support existing financial inclusion stakeholders to develop and test a targeted financial product with rural youth and to advocate for its integration within national financial policies. In Phase ll, the program will focus on policy dialogue for conducive youth inclusive financial systems.

 

 

 

 

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF   2'100'000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF   0 Budget inclusive project partner CHF   7'150'000