This is clearly an unprecedented time. Over the past few months, the world has been battling the COVID-19 pandemic which has seen health systems burdened and unable to cope with the rising numbers of infected people.
In 2018, Kenya’s Ministry of Labour and Social Protection launched the newest phase of its social safety net programme Inua Jamii with an audacious goal: provide all beneficiaries with a full bank account and offer them a choice among four financial services providers.
Millicent, 44, and Amos, 45, live in Eldoret with their 17-year-old daughter. Amos has been working as a matatu driver and bus conductor for many years. Millicent ran a small restaurant during the Diaries, but is now selling plastic wares from a small Mali Mali shop and knitting sweaters, which she sells mostly at back-to-school time.
Shujaaz Inc. is a Kenyan communications research and production company. Formerly called Well Told Story, the company is the producer of “Shujaaz,” an award-winning media platform that provides open spaces – including online platforms – for youth to discuss personal and societal issues often considered sensitive or taboo within their communities.
We were huddled in a routine team discussion at FSD Kenya when we received news of the first confirmed Covid-19 case in Kenya. Like many others, we wondered what this might mean for our work, our families and our country in the days ahead.
The inability of low-income households to access quality healthcare is a major challenge in dealing with unanticipated shocks. The challenge is bigger for rural households. Small rural pharmacies stock almost entirely generic medicines because these are the products that patients can afford.
During a recent visit to Sierra Leone, I was fascinated by the country’s rich history, friendly people and the beautiful beaches of the Freetown peninsula, with miles and miles of white sand – albeit almost empty.
This segmentation study identifies Kenyans whose financial needs are not adequately met by the solutions available in the financial market, as well as the untapped opportunities they offer to financial service providers. The study was conducted by FSD Kenya and the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), using data from FinAccess 2019.
Today, I am honoured to represent FSD Kenya at the UK Africa Investment Summit in London. I am inspired by the potential of the entrepreneurs, investors, government officials and civil society organisations who are full of ideas, solutions, and drive to leverage connections and learning across the continent to grow Africa’s economy and wellbeing.
Starting with microcredit in the late 1980s, there has been a growing movement of multilateral institutions, private foundations, non-profits, corporations and governments that aims to provide formal financial services to low-income market segments around the world.
Since the launch of M-Shwari in 2012, the number of digital lenders and loans disbursed has grown substantially. Advances in credit scoring, few regulatory barriers and the widespread use of mobile phones and mobile money have enabled growth of the digital lending industry, giving borrowers a quick and convenient option for credit.
This report is the second in a series of studies that measure the cost of banking services in Kenya. It follows the first report that was released in 2017 and constitutes a complementary element in the measurement of the financial inclusion landscape in Kenya.