Youth-Inclusive Rural Finance (YIRF)

Millions of Tanzanian youth living in rural areas, in particular young women, are affected by vulnerable employment. Based on the Swiss added values on vocational skills, innovations and private sector development, the program will increase gainful self-employment through tailored digital financial products and services. Beyond results at the community level, policy dialogue, research and capacity building of private and public institutions will also contribute to more inclusive financial policies.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Employment & economic development
Vocational training

SME development
Financial policy
Vocational training
15.03.2019 - 31.08.2025
CHF  200’000
Background Despite Tanzania’s steady economic growth rate the absolute number of poor people keeps on rising. Due to vulnerable employment, young people, in particular women and those living in rural areas, struggle to get out of poverty. Developing inclusive financial systems and solutions is an important component for economic and social progress. Inclusive finance is defined as the ability for people to access, use and benefit from a financial system and its solutions in a manner that contributes to their well-being. Over the past decade, financial inclusion in Tanzania increased from 16% to 65%. Yet, amongst the financially excluded socio-demographic groups in the country, rural youth count the highest levels: 34% access neither formal nor informal financial solutions. Main barriers are that the available solutions are not considered appropriate, affordable, convenient and safe and users have limited trust in financial providers and systems. Mobile money is driving the uptake and use of financial solutions, more than any other means. But a number of barriers still need to be addressed for them to fully benefit from the opportunities related to digitalization of financial solutions. Based on its experiences and successes developed since it was established in 2003, the Financial Sector Deepening Trust (FSDT) can play an important role in this area. FSDT recently developed a specific strategy for rural youth, on which SDC will focus.
Objectives Improved well-being and empowerment of rural youth including female youth through inclusive finance.
Target groups
  • FSPs are supported in the development and piloting of 8 new or improved financial solutions/tools for rural farmers, rural youth, women and enterprises (2 for rural youth)
  • 3’053’700 male and female youth aged between 16-35 years living in rural area’s benefitting from relevant and affordable financial solutions
  • 5’876 enterprises owned by rural youth benefit from adapted or new financing solutions
  • 63’000 rural youth financial, digital and entrepreneurial skills are enhanced
  •  4’238 rural youth professional skills in (self-) employment are enhanced
  •  1’904’712 rural youth are reached through behavioural change campaigns and adapted their behaviour
  • Policy makers and regulators to develop youth inclusive financial policies, legal – and regulatory frameworks, through dialogue and research to improve decision-making
Medium-term outcomes
  1. Increased usage of financial solutions by rural youth including female youth that are affordable, relevant and useful and are provided with dignity and fairness
  2. Improved capabilities of rural youth including female youth to access market opportunities and to access and use financial solutions

Expected results:  

The FSDT strategy 2020-2025 involves the following groups: rural youth, women, farmers, and enterprises. The five outputs include the rural youth, on which SDC will focus:

  1. Improved policies, institutional, legal and regulatory frameworks that provide an enabling environment for Financial Service Providers (FSP), enterprises, rural farmers, rural youth and women
  2. Improved availability of relevant financial sector infrastructure that will equip financial sector players (private and public) with the ability to meet the needs and aspirations of rural farmers, rural youth, women and enterprises
  3. FSPs develop and scale high-quality, relevant, affordable, and accessible financial solutions tailored to the needs of rural farmers, rural youth, women and enterprises
  4. Institutions, service providers, and FSPs deliver relevant 'capability services' to rural farmers, rural youth, women and enterprises
  5. Increased uptake and utilization of research and data products by FSPs, policy-makers, and stakeholders to meet the needs of rural farmers, rural youth, women and enterprises

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
Private sector
  • Foreign private sector South/East

Other partners
Other donors to FSDT include DANIDA, DFID, Global Affairs Canada, SIDA and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Coordination with other projects and actors Skills for Employment Tanzania (SET) programme, Opportunities for Youth Employment (OYE) project and the Tanzanian Social Action Fund (TASAF)
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    200’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    77’188
Project phases Phase 1 15.03.2019 - 31.08.2025   (Current phase)