Promoting financial inclusion in Tunisia

Project description

Title: Financial Inclusion in Tunisia (IFT)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Tunisia
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Economy, Finance and Investment Support (MEFAI)
Overall term: 2020 to 2023

Context

Large parts of the population in Tunisia suffer from economic and social exclusion – especially in rural and peri-urban areas. This is one of the main causes of the social tensions that led to the revolution in the country in 2011. In structurally disadvantaged regions in the interior, the unemployment rate is almost twice as high as the national average. In addition, low-income population groups do not make sufficient use of formal financial services. Women are far more affected by unemployment and structural disadvantaged than men.

Illiteracy, early school leaving and informal employment are increasing the gender gap and preventing women from taking part in the economy. The resilience to financial setbacks is low, as neither savings nor remittances can be used to deal with them.

Objective

People with low incomes, predominantly in rural and peri-urban areas, and also women use more formal financial services.

Approach

The project provides support in developing a regulatory and institutional framework and clarifying responsibilities for the regulation and monitoring of financial services. For this purpose, the project works together with the Ministry of Economy, Finance and Investment Support and the Tunisian Central Bank (BCT).

It aims to make it easier for private financial service providers to invest in the development of digital financial services and distribution channels. Through the National Strategy for Financial Inclusion (SNIF), national actors are to promote these developments in disadvantaged regions. To this end, the project is building up the expertise of those involved.

Aiming to improve the range of products and alternative distribution channels, the project is sensitising financial service providers to the financial needs of the disadvantaged population. In addition, educational measures in the area of finance are enabling basic financial education and targeted consumer protection.

Last update: July 2021

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