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State of Practice: Savings Groups and the Role of Government in Sub-Saharan Africa

Savings Groups are community-based financial service providers that deliver basic financial services to millions of members in underserved markets worldwide. Traditionally, the promotion of Savings Groups has been led by national and international NGOs and a large extension network of community-based trainers. In recent years, governments across Sub-Saharan Africa have incorporated Savings Groups into public policy and programming, recognizing the potential of the community-based microfinance model to contribute to national financial inclusion strategies and broader development agendas.

This state of practice report, by The SEEP Network, identifies and describes 74 government initiatives in the Savings Group sector across 20 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa – related to financial inclusion, social protection, women’s empowerment, and sector regulation and coordination.

The purpose of the report is to support the further development of public policy and programming related to Savings Groups in the region, and to serve as a resource for diverse sector stakeholders – including funders, non-governmental organizations, and financial service providers – to more effectively engage governments in the region around identified priorities and opportunities.

The SEEP Network
SEEP is a collaborative learning network. For over 30 years, our members have served as a testing ground for innovative strategies that promote inclusion, develop resilient markets, and enhance the livelihood potential of the worlds’ poor. With our members, we support strategies that create opportunities for vulnerable populations, especially women, to participate in markets and improve their quality of life.

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