Minister of Technology and Science, Felix Mutati, says government intends to achieve 80 percent digital inclusion by the end of this year.
Mr Mutati says government is confident that it will reach this target through the digital payment platform strategy which it is implementing.
He says government deliberately devised electronic payment systems such as electronic payments for social cash transfer and the Farmer Input Support Programme to increase the digital inclusion as well as maximise efficiency and minimise fraud.
Mr Mutati said this in Lusaka today during the official opening of a two-day banking and finance conference under the theme, ‘assessing the business drivers for the banking and finance industry in a digital economy’.
He added that the banking and financing sector have also contributed to achieving digital and financial inclusion through the financial switch that enables banks to inter-operate within themselves and with mobile money providers.
“You can move money from one bank account to another and to mobile money and those who are not in the banking space can inter-operate. This is crucial for financial and digital inclusion and that is why we are confident that by the end of the year, we should be able to reach 80 percent,” he explained.
Speaking at the same event, Bankers Association of Zambia (BAZ) Chairperson, Mizinga Melu, called on government to consider switching to the digital identity card because it will help it achieve financial inclusion and curb fraud.
Ms Melu said in a speech read on her behalf by the BAZ Chief Executive Officer, Leonard Mwanza, that the digital identity card will open up more opportunities in the digital transformation journey.
She said the opportunities include easy development of a centralised database that will lead to the development of a proper digital ecosystem.
She also stated that the banking sector will continue to collaborate with government to ensure that the country’s digital transformation agenda is achieved and accelerated.
Meanwhile, Zambia Institute of Banking and Financial Services (ZIBFS) President, Moses Shuko, said participants in the two-day conference will explore the digital financial solutions that can be used as a conduit for sustainable financial inclusion.