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United Nations Capital Development Fund to host premier Digital Chikwama Awards for financial service providers in Zambia
The United Nations Capital Development Fund will be hosting the premier digital financial services (DFS) awards event in Zambia. The Digital Chikwama Awards will be given to organizations and individuals from the private sector who have contributed significantly to advancing digital financial inclusion for the benefit of all Zambians.
“Chikwama” is the Nyanja word for “wallet” and a key focus area for UNCDF has been to facilitate the introduction of new financial products that leverage digital wallets that allow customers to have access to services that often seem too far out of reach, like a safe place to save, or access to microcredit, solar power, or microinsurance. The keynote address at the awards event will be given by Dr. Denny Kalyalya the Governor of the Bank of Zambia.
“Zambia has bred an inspiring set of stakeholders in the Digital Finance Ecosystem – from the public sector to the private sector and beyond. UNCDF’s observation has been that these inspiring actors have helped more Zambians access financial services at a rapid clip, and made large strides in the last few years to correct what the world used to call the Zambian DFS market – ‘a sub-scale trap’.
It is critical to recognize and reward the outstanding contributions that have been made by digital financial services providers in this market. We hope this recognition will inspire others to take action and work towards moving Zambia past the tipping point in leveraging these transformative services to generate benefits that will meet the needs, wants and aspirations of Zambian customers. This vision continues to be the ‘north star’ of UNCDF-MM4P in all that this programme does.”
Nandini Harihareswara, Regional Technical Specialist, UNCDF
Every year, the Bank of Zambia and other key stakeholders in the financial inclusion space in Zambia host the Financial Literacy Awards. This awards ceremony is meant to recognize financial institutions and individuals that have contributed significantly to increased financial literacy among Zambian adults. The result is more Zambians are becoming financially literate and taking a keener interest in learning how to manage their financial lives. Every year, the financial institutions are motivated to perform even better than they did in the previous year.
Inspired by this idea, UNCDF is hosting an awards ceremony to recognize and reward excellence and innovation in the digital finance space. The award categories, which will be announced during the event, have been carefully crafted by UNCDF to reflect what is going on in the market. A panel of independent digital finance experts were convened to choose the finalists in each category.
The event will feature a keynote address by the Governor of the Bank of Zambia reflecting on the future of digital financial services in Zambia. UNCDF’s report on the state of the Zambian digital financial services market will also be released at the event. The report contains the facts and figures showing the growth trends in the market in 2016. Following the presentation of the awards, there will be a networking session to allow participants to engage with and learn from each other. Through this event, UNCDF hopes to see increased interest and activity on the part of the providers and other stakeholders to advance digital finance in Zambia in the coming years.
Mobile Money for the Poor (MM4P) is a programme launched by UNCDF in partnership with the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida), the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The MasterCard Foundation. MM4P provides support to digital financial services (DFS) in a select group of least developed countries (LDCs) to demonstrate how the correct mix of financial, technical and policy support can build a robust DFS ecosystem that reaches low income people in LDCs.