Zambia is one of the poorest countries in the world, with 86% of the population living below the poverty line, and 50% of its citizens unemployed. Zambia’s infant mortality rate is 10.1% is nearly 17 times the U.S. rate. High rates of infectious diseases have resulted in one of the world’s lowest life expectancies—just 38.9 year. HIV/AIDS has killed over 56,000 people; 1.1 million people live with HIV/AIDS—15.2% of the population.
Zambia's economy has experienced strong growth in recent years, with real GDP growth in 2005-08 about 6% per year. Copper output has increased steadily since 2004, due to higher copper prices and foreign investment. The decline in world commodity prices and demand hurt GDP growth in 2009, but a sharp rebound in copper prices and a bumper maize crop have helped Zambia begin to recover.
Poverty remains a significant problem in Zambia, despite a stronger economy. Some 86% of the population lives in poverty and 50% is unemployed.
Climate for microfinance:
• The regulatory environment is generally positive and the MFI lobby is actively involved in forming these regulations
• Taxation of MFIs in the future is likely
• MFIs are required to register as either “deposit-taking” or “credit-only” institutions
• Credit-only institutions do not have the right to intermediate deposits
FINCA Zambia (Founded 2001)
FINCA Zambia operates in Zambia’s capital city of Lusaka and the Central, Southern, and Copperbelt Provinces. FINCA Zambia offers three types of credit products, which include individual, solidarity and village banking loan products for urban and peri-urban markets for working capital and business improvement.
Many borrowers are single mothers; many care for orphans who have lost parents due to HIV/AIDS. Their businesses include selling food crops, groceries, second hand clothes, charcoal, poultry and other goods, running make shift restaurants, and other small enterprises.
Meet Angelina Sanyemba: Education Entrepreneur
FINCA ZambiaClients: 37,618
Village Banking groups: 911
Average loan: $418
Loans outstanding: $11,693,890
On-time repayment: 98.1%
Services: Village Banking group loans plus progressive and individual loans; microinsurance
Geography: Zambia is a landlocked, sub-tropical country in southern Africa. It is slightly larger than Texas, and bordered by Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.
Population: 12.1 million
Ethnicities: African 99.5%, European, Asian and American, 0.5%
Religions: Christian 50%-75%, Muslim and Hindu 24%-49%, indigenous beliefs 1%Average life expectancy: 38.9 years
Median age: 17 years
Literacy: 80.6 percent
* Program information is updated on a monthly basis from reports from the field.