Malawi, a South-Eastern country in Africa has announced that in order to address the country’s poverty and financial inclusion issues that it will develop a payments infrastructure highly concentrated on digital payments as part of the government’s commitment to achieving social and economic goals within the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy.
Announced at an event organized by the Government of Malawi with the United Nations Capital Development Fund’s (UNCDF), Better Than Cash Alliance and Mobile Money for the Poor initiatives, it marks a continued push by developing countries to push for greater financial inclusion through the use of payment systems like mobile money.
Commenting on the announcement, Honorable Goodall Gondwe, MP, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development in Malawi said,
“This is part of our mandate to realize balanced and sustainable economic growth and to reduce poverty. We believe creating an economy where digital payments are widely available is the right path for us to embark on and we are doing so based on sound economic and fiscal policies.”
Malawi is not the only country that has announced significant financial inclusion in recent years but the announcement marks arguably the first time that a developing country has said they plan to radically overhaul their payments infrastructure and embrace digital solutions. While this will take time and will be a costly exercise, in the end Malawi will not be left with legacy infrastructure which should help the country launch new and innovative solutions in the future.
Overview by Tristan Hugo-Webb, Associate Director, Global Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group
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