Programme profile

FSD Zambia: Financial Sector Deepening

Programme Index Listing

2012 - 2018
Total budget
US $ 20 million
Annual budget
US $ 3.3 million avg

FSD Zambia is a development organisation that seeks to expand and deepen the financial market throughout Zambia. We work with financial service providers, policy-makers and civil society to expand Zambia’s financial sector, making the market more robust, efficient and, above all, inclusive.

Market systems and interventions

Rural household finance  

  • FSDZ invests in infrastructure, coordination, capacity building, advocacy, and innovation to engender systemic change in the following three key strategic areas: Savings Groups (SGs) and Savings Groups research, insurance, and rural and agriculture finance (RAF).

Small and medium enterprise finance

  • Catalyse the market to increase the volume and range of financial services available for SMEs and accessed by SMEs; improve the availability of reliable information, with an emphasis on credit data, to help ease access to financial services; and encourage better support services, particularly financial infrastructure.
  • SME finance focuses in the following areas: improving supply and delivery of SME finance; addressing information asymmetry; and improving infrastructure in SME finance.

Digital financial services

  • In March 2015, FSDZ signed an MOU with the UN Capital Development Fund’s Mobile Money for the Poor (MM4P) to work jointly on all activities related to increasing uptake and usage of digital financial services (DFS). The 5-year programme aims to increase active usage of DFS by 15% by 2019 from its current level of 2.5% through six strategic streams: policy and regulation; infrastructure; high volume payments; distribution, customers, and providers. FSDZ leads the policy, regulation and infrastructure work streams while MM4P leads in the other four areas.
  • Expected market system change is increased financial inclusion through innovation, capacity building and industry coordination among providers and regulators of digital financial services in Zambia leading to substantive increases in the number of clients and in the number, quality, and diversity of digital transactions taking place.


  • The aim is to increase understanding of the demand for, and supply of, financial services as well as how policies and regulation could create a conducive environment for increased financial inclusion of all stakeholders involved in deepening financial inclusion in Zambia. Strategic area of focus is to develop the capacity of local research organisations and others to effectively maintain and contribute to ongoing enhanced understanding of the demand for financial services and further generate research that is cross-cutting and offers the potential to influence and impact many sectors, stakeholders and target groups.


People and businesses are accessing quality financial services that will make sustainable improvements to their livelihoods, and strong foundations are being laid for the expansion of inclusive financial services in Zambia

  • Poor people in rural areas, most of them women, are now collectively saving for the first time, building assets to withstand shocks and there are more income earning opportunities. They are also learning financial skills and many women have financial independence for the first time.
  • Policy makers and financial service providers (FSPs) have a significantly enhanced understanding of the financial inclusion landscape in Zambia following the first FinScope survey in six years. This in-depth survey, conducted to very high standards, is helping influence government policy and regulation, and supports the private sector to design new, appropriate products for the unreached Zambian population.
  • Microfinance institutions are transforming into deposit taking entities more effectively and more swiftly than they would have without FSDZ’s support.
  • Financial institutions previously focused on payroll lending are developing valuable services for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) more quickly and more appropriately than without FSDZ’s support.
  • Insurance companies are developing successful new products that are affordable and valuable for poor people. 

Updated June 2016.