State of Practice: Savings Groups and the Role of Government in Sub-Saharan Africa

Publication Date: 20181231

Savings Groups are community-based financial service providers that deliver basic financial services to millions of members in underserved markets worldwide. Traditionally, the promotion of Savings Groups has been led by national and international NGOs and a large extension network of community-based trainers. In recent years, governments across Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) have deepened their engagement with Savings Groups, recognizing the potential of the community-based microfinance model to contribute to national financial inclusion strategies and development agendas. This state of practice report provides a comprehensive overview of government interventions in the sector across Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2018, the authors conducted an extensive desk review and interviews with 46 government representatives from 22 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. This report identifies and describes 74 government initiatives in the Savings Group sector, across 20 countries1 in Sub-Saharan Africa. [64 pages]