The Zambian government needs to improve access to financial services in rural areas, a local think-tank said on Friday.

Figures show that 50 percent of adults in rural areas have no access to financial services, a situation the Policy Monitoring and Research Center (PMRC) blames on such factors as low population density and extremely poor infrastructure.


“The importance of increasing access to financial services… cannot be overemphasized because of the key role it plays in reducing poverty, increasing employment and attracting development,” the think-tank said in a report on government policy on rural finance.

Improved access to financial services in rural areas could help bridge the rural-urban economic divide, the PMRC said, urging the government to deal with prohibitively high costs of offering conventional banking services in remote rural areas by promoting creative thinking and innovation in both financial products and delivery of the products. Enditem


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