Promoting financial inclusion for rural youth in Tanzania

Press releases, 08.03.2021

In celebration of the International Women’s Day, the Embassy of Switzerland in Tanzania together with the Financial Sector Deepening Trust (FSDT) will today launch the Rural Youth Inclusive Finance Study during a virtual event held at 1400 hrs. The study shares in-depth knowledge of the financial behaviours and challenges of rural youth in Tanzania, particularly young women, between the ages of 16 and 24. 

Young Tanzanian woman selling farm produce at the market.
Young Tanzanian woman selling farm produce at the market. © FSDT

The 2017 FinScope Tanzania report identified rural young women and men from 16 to 24 years - approximately 4.4 million people - as the most financially excluded population segment, with 45% not having taken up any formal or informal financial service. The Rural Youth Inclusive Finance Study illustrates typical profiles of rural youth to enable the development of targeted solutions and products for this emerging market segment. It further explores the needs, aspirations and current economic status of rural youth, and how current communication and go-to-market strategies of financial service providers, youth empowerment programmes and policies reflect them.

“FSDT identified rural youth as one of the key segments to drive impact through financial inclusion, hence the partnership with the Embassy of Switzerland presented an excellent opportunity to deepen our understanding of the segment,” said Sosthenes Kewe, FSDT Executive Director.

The study seeks to inform the development of rural youth economic interventions, financial solutions and strategies that aim at increasing gainful self-employment for rural youth through enhanced inclusive finance. The youth study applied a gender lens throughout the report to uncover specific constraints and opportunities for female rural youth.

“Increasing rural youth financial inclusion is a key challenge – and increasing rural young women’s financial inclusion is especially important as they are disproportionally disadvantaged. This study explores the underlying gender inequalities that impede women’s empowerment,” said the Ambassador of Switzerland Didier Chassot. “Access to and use of quality financial products and services is essential to inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction.”

The virtual event will share actionable insights from the study to address the different challenges faced by the target demographic. To mark the International Women’s Day, the event will specifically focus on young women. The Rural Youth Inclusive Finance Study was conducted by IPSOS in consortium with Fundacion Capital.


Embassy of Switzerland

Marloes Philippo


Julia Seifert