The study aims to understand the nature, extent and causes of the challenges faced in improving the level of financial inclusion in Botswana’s rural communities, ultimately, to derive a set of proposals for addressing these challenges. The nature and extent of the challenges are gauged by analysing and comparing the demand for and the supply of finance in the rural economy. In assessing the gap between demand and supply, attention is paid not only to the effectiveness of rural enterprises’ and households’ access to finance – or lack thereof – but also to the appropriateness and sustainability of the products and services offered in relation to their needs. Particular emphasis is given to agricultural finance, since farming is the dominant economic activity and generator of income and jobs in rural areas.
This is done without losing sight, on the one hand, of the importance of finance for other types of rural business and for rural households’ needs as consumers, and, on the other, of the growth of farming as an urban activity.