n Journal of Strategic Studies : A Journal of the Southern Bureau of Strategic Studies Trust - Whither financial inclusion : a holistic approach

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Financially excluded people face a disadvantage of depending on loan sharks, borrowing at extortionate rates and finally crushed in a debt trap. Financial exclusion, is a term that indicates the absence of access to financial services. It hampers opportunities for employment and enterprise development. It is generally accepted that financial inclusion has become a topic of global importance to the extent of earning prominence at such gatherings as the 2009 G20 Pittsburgh Summit (G20 2009). However, a consensus has not been attained on a definition of financial inclusion. Most of the literature focuses on enumerating the increase of branches, automatic teller machines, and surveys of users of mobile money, typically, in a rural setting extolling the wonders of it all. This study departs from this trend and however, calls for a broader concept of financial inclusion. Familiarity with the barriers that hinder the marginalised people from accessing financial services provides clues to the requisite policies which could be supportive of a strategy to broaden access. However, it is important that there be an overarching guiding philosophy or strategy encompassing access to the whole financial services sector. Therefore, the missing key in Zimbabwe's financial inclusion agenda is a clear strategy or plan. This should clearly spell out the goals of financial inclusion; how it will be achieved, by whom and when? It will also be important to address the question of how progress will be monitored and the milestones. Will there be penalties for those not supportive and what will be the rewards for those who do?


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