Alastair Tyler, The London Institute of Banking & Finance's International Director, writes about his recent trip to Zambia and how international collaboration can help the wider banking and finance industry.
I recently visited Lusaka where I presented to nine African banking institutes (Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia) at the annual meeting of the Alliance of African Institute of Bankers. My presentation focused on common challenges all banking institutes face (around relevance, facing up to a rapidly changing market place and limited resources) and the benefits of a collaborative approach.
On the trip, I also met privately with the heads of these Institutes, and there was great interest in developing partnerships with us to give their banking community access to our qualification programmes. Whilst I was in Zambia, I was also able to meet with several of the CEOs of the major banks and the head of the Bankers Association. There was interest in our qualification programmes, and also how best to support the wider needs in terms of executive education.
I also attended a conference on financial inclusion. Attending this conference really brought home the scale of the challenge a country like Zambia faces. For example less than 3% of their population has any insurance, as well as challenges in terms of access to banking services in their rural communities. In spite of this, there was grounds for optimism demonstrated by both the positive attitude and mind set of local people and their great interest in education including financial education.