Zambia's economy has experienced strong growth in recent years, with GDP growth from 2005-10 of about 6% per year. Despite economic growth, poverty remains a significant problem in Zambia due to a high birth rate, relatively high HIV/AIDS cases, an overdependence of the economy on copper, and high-income inequality.
Poverty levels have remained high at 76% for the 61% of Zambians living in rural areas and 53% in the urban areas. In Zambian families, poverty is exhibited through deprivation of a long healthy life, educational opportunities and access to resources.
The poverty situation is heightened by limited access to financial services as it is estimated that only 34% of the population is financially serviced. This denies many the opportunities that might provide them with a chance to earn a viable income. With such low level of financial inclusion, the work of VisionFund Zambia is critical.
VisionFund Zambia strives to be the leading, and preferred, rural-focused microfinance institution in Zambia. Some of the innovative strategic initiatives being pursued include the following:
- Providing financial education and consumer protection
- Branchless banking through a mobile payment platform
- Home improvement and education loans
- Value chain financing
“After my husband’s death, life was very challenging. We didn’t have food and I did not know how I was going to educate my children.” Loveness reflected sombrely.
With an initial loan of $100 Loveness’ business has grown over the last three years and she is now able to expand her business further. Loveness can now sufficiently feed her four children and send them to school.
Nkosilathi Moyo joined VisionFund Zambia as the CEO in April 2009. He has over 14 years experience as a microfinance practitioner, consultant and regulator. Before joining VisionFund Zambia, Nkosilathi was a Bank Examiner with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
Nkosilathi is a holder of a Masters in Business Leadership from the University of South Africa, and a Bachelor of Social Science in Psychology from the University of Zimbabwe. The MFI is a wholly owned subsidiary of VisionFund and World Vision, and has a board and management team.