BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes@SunZambian
THE Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Network will support the emergence of better regulatory frameworks meant to enhance the integrity of financial systems across the continent to underpin impact, stability, competition and control of illicit financial flows.
FSD Network works with governments, business leaders, non-profit organisations, research institutions, regulators and policymakers to develop more inclusive financial systems.FSD Network plays a major role in enabling inclusive growth and ensuring access to basic services while assuring a sustainable future for Africa’s populations, according to a statement issued in Lusaka by FSD Zambia head communications Eneyah Phiri.It indicated that the FSD Network helps build inclusive financial systems which enable inclusive growth, access to basic services, and the building of sustainable futures.Through these three themes, the Network emphasises job creation and income generation for low-income groups, and the provision of services such as education and health to vulnerable and underserved groups.FSD Network council chairperson, and concurrently FSD Zambia chief executive officer Betty Wilkinson said the Network is a unique set of trusted Africa-centric institutions embedded in the countries where they are active.“Our goal is to make finance work to address real sector challenges for all citizens, particularly the poor and vulnerable. Network members create synergy to sustainably address the financial challenges that prevent inclusive and successful economies across the continent,” Ms Wilkinson said.She said their work addresses the financial barriers to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.It identifies, demonstrates and scales ways to enhance inclusive growth through effective financing investments.In addition, it improves gender equity by finding financial solutions to the needs of poor and marginalised households and supporting innovation of financial system infrastructure at local and regional levels.“Our new strategy emphasises inclusive finance as a means to an end. We see the end as, for example, meeting a welfare need like health or shelter, starting or scaling a business or acquiring other assets, and adapting to the effects of climate change.“The emphasis is on value addition to individuals, households and businesses, as well as to the broader economies in which these people live,” FSD Network director Juliet Munro said.The United Kingdom government’s Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), former Department for International Development is the FSD Network’s largest funder, having created and funded the first FSD programme in 2001.In 2020, the FSD Network secured a £320 million, five-year investment package from FCDO.
Network members have also attracted significant funding from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Mastercard Foundation, United States (US) Aid, Government of Canada, the World Bank and the Netherlands Development Cooperation, amongst others.