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March 7, 2013

3 Ways Opportunity International Will Tackle Poverty in Mozambique This Year

By Allison Bearden

Opportunity Mozambique is providing over 57,000 impoverished clients with loans, savings and insurance to catalyze sustainable economic development across the country. In 2013, Banco Oportunidade de Moçambique (BOM) will reach more impoverished families through the following three strategies, among others:

  1. Investing in Savings Expansion with New Products and Promotions.
  2. Savings help protect low-income families against shocks, smooth household consumption, enhance business productivity and empower marginalized women. BOM staff encourage savings account opening by performing entertaining and informative roadshows in busy markets. During 2013, the bank will also launch a savings and awareness campaign to coincide with the rollout of 2-3 new types of savings accounts
  3. Introducing Innovative Agricultural Mapping & Profiling Technologies. When working with smallholder farmers, it’s important for Opportunity to determine the exact land area available for cultivation and the general profile of each household to determine the precise level of inputs (fertilizer, agro-chemicals, etc.) and financing needed. During 2013, BOM’s agricultural team will start using new smartphones and GPS devices to profile agricultural clients and map their land.
  4. Launching More Low-Cost Financial Access Points. Providing clients with financial access using non-branch outlets is cheaper for the bank and more convenient for clients, because the bank can afford to deploy more outlets overall. This year, BOM will launch three additional ATMs, deploy its seventh mobile van, open an innovative U-shaped container branch and prioritize distribution of new debit cards to clients.

How much do you know about Mozambique? Here are a few key facts about this vibrant and resource-rich African country:

  • Mozambique is slightly less than twice the size of California.
  • Portuguese is Mozambique’s official language. The country was colonized by Portugal in 1505 and didn’t gain independence until 1975.
  • Following independence, Mozambique became a Marxist one-party state allied to the Soviet bloc. After the breakup of the Soviet Union and a long civil war, Mozambique became one of Africa’s first democracies in the 1990’s.
  • Mozambique is still recovering from its difficult history. 90% of Mozambique’s population lives on less than $2 per day.
  • 78% of Mozambican adults lack access to formal financial services.