The Department for International Development is leading a new multi-donor access to finance programme which will make £13.5 million available to expand access to banking services, advice, savings and credit facilities in Mozambique so that the sector works better for consumers.
Nearly 80% of Mozambicans are locked-out of formal financial services. The new programme will allow 650 small and medium enterprises and more than two million poor Mozambicans, including women, to access a wide range of formal financial services and products so they can better manage their business and household budgets.
Small businesses will also indirectly benefit from £2 million of DFID funding to Population Services International (PSI) to help increase choice and access to health products in communities. The funding will allow PSI to use a network of health promoters, small businesses and clinics to provide health and family planning products and services in their communities.
The system uses vouchers and transactions on mobile phones so that people can access services free, in places and at times they choose. Small businesses benefit from the service by generating an income from distributing the products.
International Development Minister, Lynne Featherstone, said:
The only way for developing countries to end their dependency on aid is through growth that creates more jobs and increases tax receipts. Having formal financial services and systems in place and making use of innovative tools that allow small community traders to build their businesses locally are vital stepping stones to economic growth that will ultimately allow people to pull themselves out of poverty.
The funding announcements were made as part of a three-day visit to Mozambique by International Development Minister Lynne Featherstone to address issues related to economic empowerment and development and social protection for girls and women.
During her stay Ms Featherstone will also visit a farm supported by DFID, which has been providing chillies to Nandos UK for their Peri-Peri Sauce. This programme has seen 39 metric-tonnes delivered to Nandos UK from Mozambique and has trained around 300 farmers in transferrable agricultural production skills, a number of whom are now providing vegetables to Spar supermarkets.