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Tanzania is a country in East Africa that is home to 55 million inhabitants. About 64% of the population live in poverty and about 32% in extreme poverty. Tanzania is ranked 159 out of 189 in the human development index report 2019. However, the economy has grown steadily in recent years and achieved economic growth of 6.5% in 2016.
According to the 2017 FinScope study, just 35% of the population is still financially excluded from the formal sector. Especially people from rural areas (66% of the population) lack access to formal financial services. Families remain the biggest supporter in terms of financial hardship.
Sparkassenstiftung started its operations in Tanzania in 2012 and has been working successfully in Dar es Salaam for five years. As Sparkassenstiftung’s impact-oriented activities increasingly focused on peri-urban as well as rural areas over the years, the head office was shifted to Mwanza in September 2017. A second office remains in Dar es Salaam to ensure the continuing delivery of high-quality services to our partner institutions.
Sparkassenstiftung Tanzania together with its partners continues to strengthen and professionalize the microfinance sector and to promote vocational and financial education of broader segments of society to enhance financial inclusion and hence reduction of poverty.
Currently, Sparkassenstiftung Tanzania is successfully working toward these goals with the Tanzania Association of Microfinance Institutions (TAMFI), Tanzania Cooperative Development Commission (TCDC), Savings and Credit Cooperative Union League of Tanzania (SCCULTs), SELF Microfinance Fund and AKIBA Commercial Bank Plc.
Institutional Strengthening of Partner Organisations
Institutional strengthening of partner organisations is one of the core topics of Sparkassenstiftung’s work. In Tanzania, Sparkassenstiftung is supporting SCCULT, SELF MF and TAMFI by providing strategic advisory services, needs-based trainings for management, etc. This has consistently improved the partners’ structure and operations and ensures their sustainability in Tanzania. A big achievement was SELF MF’s transition from a development project into a business-oriented organisation and later the merger with another financial institution. Digitalization of the Microfinance and SACCOS Sector.
Digitalization of the Microfinance and SACCOS Sector
In 2019, Sparkassenstiftung Tanzania started a new initiative with the aim of advancing digitalisation in both the microfinance and Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOS) sector in collaboration with SCCULT, SELF MF, TAMFI and TCDC. One of the main goals is to assist our partners in providing digital solutions to SACCOS and member institutions. Major project activities include IT needs assessments, identification of a software according to the organisations’ needs and support regarding compliance with regulatory requirements, selection of service providers and data migration.
Financial literacy is key for the successful development of a country. Sparkassenstiftung started a financial education project with schools in 2017. Together with our former partner KARUDECA, financial education was provided to students in primary and secondary schools in Karagwe District. On average, 3,500 students were taught financial education every week in clubs. In 2019, the project was expanded to Mwanza region in collaboration with our partners TAMFI and AKIBA Commercial Bank. Within this context, the World Savings Week is celebrated every year in October. It is a big event for students, teachers, parents, and community members. Furthermore, it is planned to expand financial education to adults, especially to the ones living in rural areas.
Business Game Simulations
Sparkassenstiftung Tanzania provides trainings to small entrepreneurs and farmers who are clients of microfinance institutions. Interactive board games are used to simulate real-life business situations. Currently, the portfolio in Tanzania consists of the Micro-Business Game, Farmers Business Game and Savings Game. The training equips the beneficiaries with knowledge and skills to professionalize their businesses. This leads to them becoming more reliable customers of MFIs and SACCOS. Apart from delivering the training, Sparkassenstiftung also trains staff at partner organisation to conduct the business games themselves, hence ensuring sustainability.
SACCOS Academy and Outreach Program
In cooperation with our partners SCCULT and TCDC, Sparkassenstiftung is planning to set up a training academy for SACCOS, including several regional centres, to increase the number of participants benefitting from the trainings. In order to develop a curriculum tailored to the training and qualification needs of Tanzanian SACCOS, different workshops such as sensitization, awareness raising, and training needs analysis have already been conducted and will continue in the future. Ultimately, a strong SACCOS Academy will contribute significantly to the performance and success of the whole sector.
Establishment of SACCOS- within AMCOS
In Tanzania there are many Agricultural Marketing Cooperative Societies (AMCOS), whose members are currently dependent on external financial institutions for the provision of financial services, especially loans. To ease the access to financial services, Sparkassenstiftung, together with its partners SCCULT and TCDC, is supporting AMCOS in setting up SACCOS. In the long term, this will strengthen the cooperative movement in Tanzania.
During 2012, Sparkassenstiftung Tanzania has successfully cooperated with TPB Bank PLC (former Tanzania Postal Bank). The objective of the partnership was to implement the professionalization and transformation of the bank through management trainings as well as making the bank technically and financially stable and sustainable. Moreover the partnership was set with the aim to enhance the financial education of the general public in the areas of savings mobilization and financial literacy through savings and media campaigns, participating in the savings week in Kayanga (Kagera region) as well as conducting trainings and coaching of business simulations such as the Savings Game. The cooperation between Sparkassenstiftung Tanzania and TPB BANK ended in 2017 with the bank being financially stable and self-sufficient.
In 2016, Sparkassenstiftung Tanzania started the cooperation with Karagwe Rural Development and Environmental Conservation Agency (KARUDECA) (Karawage district, in Kagera region) with the aim of supporting the organisation in its long-term efforts to promote financial inclusion through the provision of financial education to students in primary and secondary schools in Karagwe region. The target group resulted from the recognition of the importance of financial education at an early age in school. The project was successfully implemented and handed over to the partner KARUDECA at the end of 2019.
Besides Mwanza and Kagera region, the focus will be extended to other regions in the lake zone, in particular on Shinyanga, Geita, Mara and Simiyu.