Tanzania has a total population of 53.5 million. As per the African Economic Outlook, despite high economic growth averaging 7% over the past decade, about 28.2% of Tanzanians are poor, and poverty remains more prevalent in rural areas than in urban areas. FinScope Tanzania 2013reports that the number of people who are financially excluded saw a significant drop in 2013. Around 11.7 million people were financially excluded in 2009; this number almost halved in 2013. This is mainly due to a rise in the usage of mobile financial services. Around99%of the Tanzanian adult population is aware of mobile money and 45% of them are using it actively.
The principal providers of financial services to the poor and low income households in the rural and urban areas of Tanzania consist of licensed commercial banks, regional and rural unit banks, savings and credit cooperative societies, and several NGOs whose microcredit delivery operations are funded and supported by international donors.
Bank of Tanzania (BOT) is the central bank of Tanzania. Its primary objective is to formulate, define, and implement monetary policy. It is responsible for regulating and supervising financial institutions, restructuring state-owned financial institutions, and allowing entry of private banks into the market. Tanzania’s financial sector has of 20 licensed banks and 11 non-bank financial institutions. Most bank branches are concentrated in Dar es Salaam, and only a few have a countrywide network that could be linked to the provision of microfinance services. The BOT has taken the lead in developing a National Financial Inclusion Framework (NFIF) that articulates the role of mobile money as a key enabler of financial inclusion.