Tanzania Telecom Operator Launches Short-Term Loans Accessible Via Mobile Phones

Airtel Tanzania has announced the launch of a new quick sort-term loan service, known as ‘Timiza,’ with which users can borrow between TZS 500 and TZS 500,000 through their mobile phones via Airtel Money.

The new service is offered in partnership with pan-African credit provider AFB with loan repayment periods of seven, fourteen, and twenty-eight days.

According to the Tanzania Minister for Communications, Science and Technology, Makame Mbarawa, access to short term credit will provide Tanzanians with tools that will not only encourage entrepreneurial endeavors, but will also help them to be successful, both of which are fundamental to economic development

Sunil Colaso, Airtel Managing Director, echoed the Ministers expectation of economic empowerment and explained that that this service will also help to stimulate financial inclusion across multiple groups including women, business entrepreneurs and individuals, many of whom currently represent part of Tanzania’s unbanked population.

“We believe that this will stimulate financial inclusion especially to a vast majority of the unbanked population, offering them fresh capital to manage their short and long term needs,” he reiterated.

Over the past 10 years, the number of mobile phone and internet users in Tanzania has tripled to 8.4 million and 9.6million respectively with official figures showing a total of 972.6 million mobile money transactions in the country in just the year from 2013-2014.

According to Hon. Mbarawa, in spite of an increasing number of banking institutions, access to financial services win the country remains somewhat limited, but the government remains committed to increasing this access to reach more than 50% by 2016.