IFC’s Finance2Equal program in Tanzania launched in April 2019 aims to reduce gender gaps in the financial services sector.

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Including women financially produces powerful, positive societal outcomes, while fostering greater stability in the banking system, and enhancing economic growth.

In Tanzania, IFC’s Finance2Equal program is working with five banks and two insurance companies to help the institutions better serve and support women. The program is also helping to enhance the capacity of women to access quality jobs in financial institutions.

Tanzania has made important strides in expanding financial inclusion in the country, rising from 51 to 65 percent between 2013 and 2017 by increasing the reach of banks, microfinance, and mobile money providers in the country (Finscope 2017). However, women still lag men in utilizing financial services. There’s a 9 percent gender gap for traditional bank accounts and an 11 percent gap for mobile money use in Tanzania, according to a report by FinSights.

Closing gender gaps within Tanzania’s financial services sector will give companies a much larger talent pool to draw from to expand their customer base, while women-owned businesses will gain easier access to finance, helping them grow and create jobs. When financial institutions enhance opportunities for women as leaders, employees, entrepreneurs, customers and suppliers, these women can innovate and grow their revenue.

“I see gender equality in a new light, and I think differently about how to support women in my organization better.”

--Sarah Mmari, HR Manager at Sanlam Life


“More than half of the world’s population are women. We cannot afford to ignore such a huge segment of the market,” said Theobald Sabi, Managing Director of NBC Bank.

But how do financial institutions reach out to women? This is where Finance2Equal Tanzania comes in. Under a two-year initiative, launched in October 2019, IFC’s Finance2Equal Tanzania program will partner with seven leading financial institutions in the country to expand women’s access to financial services and career opportunities. The seven partners are: NMB Bank, Standard Chartered Bank Tanzania, NBC Bank, CRDB Bank, TPB Bank, AAR Insurance Tanzania and Sanlam Life Tanzania.

IFC’s Finance2Equal will:

1. Increase data and awareness on the business case for closing gender gaps in the financial services sector through research and firm-level case studies.

2. Promote peer learning and exchange of best practice among companies through a peer learning platform where participants will take part in webinars, workshops and other learning events while accessing tools and expert advice on how to reduce gender gaps in their operations. Companies participating in the peer learning platform will make two or three tangible commitments to reduce gender gaps. This may include implementing policies that: a) address workforce challenges such sexual harassment, childcare and the recruitment, retention and promotion of women; b) promote women’s access to financial products and services and; c) promote women’s entrepreneurship such as access to finance

3. Help companies implement gender-smart measures at the firm level. These include, but are not limited to, undertaking EDGE gender certification, implementing policies that support working parents and developing a customer value proposition targeting the women’s market segment.

Join the conversation: #Finance2Equal

Published May 2020


This story is part of a series on IFC’s work to help create markets that give new opportunities to people in developing countries. These innovative approaches have helped solve some of the largest problems in countries or, sometimes, entire regions.