This month we are featuring a recent CDFP graduate and an award-winning entrepreneur, both of whom are founders of Digital Finance Practitioners Association of Zimbabwe (DPAZ) – Gerald M. Nyakwawa and Ethel Mupambwa. They are both motivated to impacting lives and bringing greater financial inclusion to Zimbabwe, particularly for women and youth.
Ethel is Co-Founder and Executive Director of MoneyMart Finance. http://www.moneymartfinance.com/index.php She holds a BComm (Hons) Degree in Finance and is close to becoming one of our next CDFP graduates! Getting her CDFP certificate would add to Ethel’s amazing year. In May 2020 she won the WIA54 (Women In Africa) Award Zimbabwean Laureate in the FinTech Category and she has also been selected amongst the TOP 20 out of over 22,000 registrations of Africa Business Heroes – A philanthropic project of the Jack Ma Foundation, an annual award for African Top Entrepreneurs. She is also Zimbabwe’s Community of Practice Facilitator for DFI and one of the Founding Trustees of Digital Finance Practitioners Association of Zimbabwe.
Ethel is passionate about credit, savings and insurance. She has over nine years’ experience linking finance to business operations, and five of them specializing in Micro-finance focusing more on innovative ways to financially include, especially women and youths who are excluded. It’s no surprise two of Ethel’s favourite DFI courses were Digital Finance for All and Blind Spots: Gender in Digital Financial Services. Both courses inspired Ethel to go back and analyse how MoneyMart can add value to their clients. The course, Consumer Protection also influenced MoneyMart’s customer service policy, it is great to see knowledge gained being put into action.
Gerald is the Managing Consultant at Financial Inclusion for Sustainable Development. He is fascinated about finding solutions to the problems facing the bottom of the pyramid, the informal sector, Micro Small and Medium Enterprises, Women and Youth. Gerald believes that his greatest achievement in 2020 is becoming a Certified Digital Finance Practitioner. He feels it is an authentication testifying that he is qualified to speak, consult, advocate and debate on the topic if digital finance.
Gerald found DFI courses helped him immensely with research projects he undertook, including one with COMESA on MSMEs and another on savings groups in Zimbabwe which helped to establish over 6000 savings groups on the mobile money platform.
Both enjoyed the online nature of the DFI courses which meant that they can access materials at times that work for them, it is self-paced and there are no Covid fears. Having a Community of Practice (COP) in Zimbabwe allows students to come together, become more knowledgeable about DFS in Zimbabwean context and how the concepts and practice from other countries could be applied within the country. The COP has also grown their networks, making it easier to knock on some doors that previously had felt out of reach.
The COP helped identify other passionate DFS practitioners in Zimbabwe and the feeling that together we can influence DFS policy of the nation. This led to the formation of Digital Finance Practitioners Association of Zimbabwe (DFPAZ) whose aim as an association is to ensure there is sustainable digital financial inclusion in the country. Sustainability is the key word, for financial service providers, regulators and most importantly for the general population. DFPAZ hopes to change the way Zimbabweans view digital finance and that digital finance works to improve the lives of those at the bottom of the pyramid. We are very excited to see what DFPAZ can achieve over the coming years and urge our Zimbabwe students to be part of this association.