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.
This is the third blog in a series about Financial Service Associations (FSAs) and their potential for growth and customer value creation based on an FSD Kenya commissioned survey by BFA. Read the first blog here: Financial services associations: an imperfect solution and the second blog here: FSA asset financing: when paying more yields more.
This is the second blog in a series about Financial Service Associations (FSAs) and their potential for growth and customer value creation based on an FSD Kenya commissioned survey by BFA. The survey took place in 2017 in Bamba, Kakeani and Mukuyuni and involved in-depth interviews with over 60 respondents including customers, their non-member neighbours and FSA staff.
Over 250 policymakers, industry players, regulators, lecturers, students, financial sector analysts, development practitioners and other guests gathered at the National Museum’s Louis Leakey Auditorium on Thursday 9th February 2017 for the 3rd FSD Kenya annual lecture on financial inclusion.
At 29, Annette is already a widow. When we met her, she lived in a rented house now near a shopping centre along the main road in Vihiga. Her in-laws were never very fond of her, and after her husband’s death they chased her off the land where the two were living.
Duncan was born in the rural community in Vihiga where he still lives today. His father died when he was six years old. His mother struggled to take care of her children alone. Because of that financial pressure, Duncan did not go to high school and instead began working from a young age.
Matthew has been a hustler for as long as he can remember. He did well in primary school and wanted to go on to a good secondary school. But, his mother at home was paralyzed and couldn’t work. His father, he says, “Is just a farmer, you know. He doesn’t take this issue of school seriously.”
Janet and Joseph have been together for 50 years. Janet had been in school up to class seven, when she dropped out, pregnant with their first child. She was eighteen years old. They stayed together at Joseph’s rural home for a few years until he decided to move to Kericho and look for work.
Ernest grew up in a rural area in Kenya’s Central region and help from family enabled him to move to Nairobi for accounting studies in 1998 after finishing high school. He completed Certified Public Accounting training up to section four, but found it hard to get a job. In 2003, he found himself desperate.
Self-employment is a major source of income for low income Kenyans, and Financial Diaries respondents are no exception. When we talked to respondents in 2015, two years after the close of the original Diaries, those whose economic lives were improving pointed to business returns as one of the main drivers of their success.
In late 2015, we followed up with Financial Diaries households to check in on their economic lives two years after the initial Diaries study ended. We wanted to know how they are doing now, the factors driving changes in their economic lives, and the role that financial services and financial choices were playing in their economic trajectories.
Enthusiasm around the once-popular “Africa Rising” narrative is abating in the face of slower-than-expected growth, macro volatility deriving from continued reliance on raw material exports in many countries, and the reality of persistently high inequality.