The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has placed Tanzania among the three East African states that lead the Sub-Saharan Africa in mobile banking.
The Breton Wood institution said out of 28 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, for which information is available, the three countries have holders of mobile accounts exceeding 30 per cent of the adult population.
The fund named three leading countries with their percentage in brackets as Kenya (60), Uganda (37) and Tanzania (35). The report, Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa, issued yesterday, placed Rwanda on seventh position with slightly less than 20 per cent. Burundi was at the tail with about two per cent while South Sudan featured nowhere in the report probably due to lack of available data.
“Kenya leads the region,” the report shows, “But mobile money transactions are also growing rapidly in Tanzania and Uganda, where the transactions doubled in the last three years in terms of broad money, reaching about 30 percent in mid-2015”.
In several African countries, namely Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Niger, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe, the number of mobile accounts has already exceeded the number of traditional bank accounts. “The developments in mobile money boost financial inclusion, complementing traditional bank services,” IMF says in the report.
It adds: “The number of banking transactions via mobile devices almost doubled in the region in the last two years. East Africa has led this trend, but mobile banking has also increased in other parts of Africa”.
Early this year, the central bank set new targets of financial inclusion after the previous one was surpassed ahead of deadline as 80 per cent of adult population using a financial access point. The BoT moved the target to 70 per cent by 2017 from 50 per cent set for 2014.