Making access possible Swaziland Diagnostic report

This report summarises the findings from the MAP Swaziland diagnostic, a comprehensive study of the scope for financial inclusion in Swaziland across four product markets: credit, payments, savings and insurance. The global Making Access to Financial Services Possible (MAP) programme is a partnership between the United Nations Capital Development Programme (UNCDF), FinMark Trust and the Centre for Financial Regulation and Inclusion (Cenfri). MAP Swaziland is funded by FinMark Trust and was carried out by Cenfri.

MAP Swaziland was requested by the Government of Swaziland as input towards the development of a financial inclusion strategy for Swaziland. The Ministry of Finance has set up a Financial Inclusion Task Team comprising representatives from the Microfinance Unit, the Central Bank and the Financial Services Regulatory Authority. The Financial Inclusion Task Team serves as steering committee for the MAP project and is mandated to develop a financial inclusion strategy for Swaziland.

MAP does not pursue financial inclusion merely for its own sake, but explores the linkages between financial inclusion and the real economy so as to impact people’s welfare. It is set apart from other diagnostic exercises in that: (i) it sets a detailed understanding of the target market and their needs at the core of the analysis; and (ii) is fundamentally linked to a multi-stakeholder process towards the implementation of a roadmap for financial inclusion. The findings in the rest of this report form the evidence base for such a roadmap, which in turn will inform the Financial Inclusion Task team as it develops a financial inclusion strategy for Swaziland.

The analysis is structured to first provide an overview of the country context and regulatory framework, which will shape the nature of the opportunities and constraints for financial inclusion. Based on quantitative as well as qualitative demand-side research, it then takes a closer look at the target market for financial inclusion: their realities, needs and current usage profile. With the target market needs and enabling environment in mind, the analysis then turns to the supply of financial services in Swaziland, unpacking the dynamics of the market for credit, payments, savings and insurance, respectively. Finally, it concludes on the cross-cutting factors driving financial inclusion in Swaziland, outlines five key priorities for extending financial inclusion and, for each, suggests potential actions to unlock the opportunities and overcome the barriers.