Malawi has been ranked 22nd out of 66 countries surveyed by the Brookings Institution, a U.S. nonprofit think tank in Washington, D.C. that conducts research and education mainly in economics, but also in governance, domestic and foreign policy, and development.
Brookings experts analyzed the financial inclusion landscape in 21 geographically, economically and politically diverse countries, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Turkey, Uganda, and Zambia, said the institute in a statement made available to Nyasa Times.
In the study financial inclusion was defined as “access to and use of formal financial services providing opportunities for facilitating individual prosperity and economic development.”
Countries received scores and rankings based on 33 indicators spanning four dimensions: Country commitment, mobile capacity, regulatory environment and adoption.
Malawi earned 61 percent of the total possible points across all four dimensions, meaning it ranked 22nd out of 26 countries on overall score
According to the score card, Malawi’s overall score of 61% remained the same as its 2016 rating, but it fell one spot in the rankings from 21st to 22nd.
“Malawi received its highest score (83%) in both the regulatory environment and country commitment categories,” the statement said.
“Malawi Union of Savings and Credit Cooperatives is helping to introduce mobile money services as part of the Feed the Future Malawi Mobile Money.
“Financial literacy initiatives should be amplified to drive increased adoption of formal financial services,” the statement pointed out.
The top-scoring countries in the analysis were Kenya (achieving 89 percent of the total possible points), South Africa (80 percent), Brazil (78 percent), Rwanda and Uganda (tied with 75 percent each) and Chile, Colombia and Turkey (tied with 74 percent each).
“These countries demonstrated considerable commitment to financial inclusion by defining specific inclusion objectives and taking policy, regulatory and technological steps to speed progress toward inclusion,” said the study.
“Countries have increasingly recognized that advancing access to and usage of affordable, secure formal financial services can contribute to their development objectives,” write FDIP authors Robin Lewis, John Villasenor, and Darrell West. However, further opportunities for progress remain.