State of Financial Cooperatives in Zambia: A viable Option for Increasing Financial Inclusion

This policy brief presents the summary findings of a study on Promoting Financial Cooperatives (FCs) in Zambia that was conducted between 2017 and 2018 with financial support from the Rural Finance Expansion Program (RUFEP), Ministry of Commerce Trade and Industry (MCTI) and the Zambia Center for Accountancy Studies (ZCAS). The study used both qualitative and quantitative approaches which included a situational analysis of FCs in Zambia, a study tour to Kenya and a census of Financial Cooperatives (FCs) eight provinces. The main objective of the study was to contribute to the development of FCs in Zambia by generating information on their performance. The secondary objectives of the study were to: Undertake a situational analysis to develop a clear understanding of the landscape for the FCs in Zambia in terms of the regulatory framework, support institutions and the nature and level at which the FCs operate; and Undertake a Census of cooperatives to understand the opportunities and constraining factors for the growth of the Cooperatives movement in Zambia. It was envisaged that the study would provide evidence about FCs that could be used in the revision of the Cooperatives Act currently underway, aid MCTI understand the nature of Cooperatives and devise strategies for monitoring FCs. The study also aimed at providing information about the state of FCs that can used by the apex body of FCs and stakeholders such as Bank of Zambia.