The World Bank office in Malawi has commended TNM Plc for providing technology that is helping people in rural areas improve their livelihoods through financial inclusion.
World Bank Country Manager Hugh Riddell after a tour of beneficiaries of the Social Support for Reselient Livelihoods Project (SSRLP) funded by the bank.
SSRLP deploys mobile money technology, which TNM Mpamba is one of, to facilitate funds transfer to beneficiaries.
“Financial inclusion is part of the graduation story in social protection. What comes very important is that beneficiaries who are enrolled in social cash transfer can use the same channels they have recieved the resources from to start saving and banking some of the resources,” he said.
TNM Mpamba Ltd General Manager Chris Sukasuka said the e-payment system has enhanced the implementation of the SSRLP being implemented by the government of Malawi through the National Local Government Finance Committee through the Local Government for a period of seven years from 2020 to 2028 with financial assistance from World Bank.
“We at TNM have partnered Government of Malawi in digitizing the social cash transfer project by introducing e-payment. What we have done is to preserve the dignity of the beneficiaries since they will no longer be subjects to long queues waiting for cash. We are providing convenience and flexibility to the beneficiaries as they can access their money any time and choose to cash it whenever they want it. We are doing this through mobile wallets by first giving simcards to the beneficiaries and have also introduced mpamba debt cards which they can use to swipe and redeem their money,” he said.
Sukasuka said through the project TNM has taken lead in championing financial inclusion for the unbanked across rural Malawi.
“We are talking about very remote, disparate areas where we have also managed to create jobs for the youth as our agents who are using our pointvof sale machines,” he said.
Riddel described the financial inclusion aspect of the program as insurance in times of shocks.
Speaking after the visit to the beneficiaries Minister of Gender and Social welfare Jean Sendeza assured of Government’s continued support towards social protection.
“Social protection programs are the first line of defense in protecting people from social amenities like poverty and hunger. This is why as a government we have increased the allocation of money for social cash transfer so that we heed to calls by people to have the figure raised as well as numbers of beneficiaries increased. On top of this we are also reintroducing the public works programs which we believe will assist in rebuilding the communities that have been hit by cyclones in terms of road infrastructure and others,” she said.
And one of the beneficiaries of the project Stelia Ziba, a widow from Traditional Authority Mwase said she has managed to start a small business from the money she recieved from the social cash transfer which is helping her keep her home and supporting her four children to go to school. However is expressed the need for government to raise the amount which is currently at four thousand kwacha per household.