Improving Financial Inclusion of the Socially and Economically Disadvantaged in Botswana through the Grameen Bank Microcredit Model
Almost fifty years after attaining independence from the Great Britain and achieving remarkable economic development, Botswana is still struggling to have universal financial inclusion for its people. This paper discusses the lessons Botswana could draw from the Grameen Bank model developed in Bangladesh in an effort to improve financial inclusion of the socio-economically disadvantaged citizens. Botswana is faced with the challenges of reducing poverty and diversifying the economy, which is currently mainly dependent on the mining sector. Access to finance could be a sustainable avenue to deal with these challenges. The poor, women and the unemployed in the country need to be armed with resources they need to improve their lives. The Grameen Bank model has proved to be a success story as far as improving financial access for the vulnerable groups is concerned. This paper gives an overview of Botswana’s financial sector, and thoroughly discusses how the Grameen Bank model differs from the traditional banks’ lending requirements. These inconsistencies have made the Grameen Bank unique, and they have also made it the success that it is. The bank has defied the generally accepted rule that the socio-economically disadvantaged agents are bad-credit.
Keywords: financial inclusion, Grameen bank, access to finance, financial access