Page | The Role of DFS and Fin-techs for Financial Inclusion in Ethiopia

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Financial inclusion has increasingly become an important international financial policy objective and regulatory principle. Globally about 1.7 billion adults remain unbanked as of 2017. In Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), largely known for its unbanked society, financial inclusion has increased rapidly owing to innovative DFSs (DFS) though a lot remains to be done. Ethiopia, located in SSA has developed a financial inclusion strategy in 2017 as part of Universal Financial Access by 2020. Following these developments, this research aimed to examine the role of DFSs (DFS) and fintech in implementing the financial inclusion strategy of Ethiopia. The study followed a quantitative approach, both descriptive and explanatory designs, survey method, and questionnaire as a data collection instrument. Financial service providers, fin-techs, and other DFS enablers established the study setting. We employed multistage sampling: purposive sampling to select the study population; purposive sampling to identify relevant survey participant units, and stratified random sampling to select survey participants. 228questionnaires were distributed, of which only 205 were properly filled and used for analysis. 80% of survey participants opine DFS and fintech are not contributing enough in implementing the financial inclusion strategy of Ethiopia due to the slow development of fintech and limited growth of DFS. The paper concludes the poor contribution of fintech and DFS in implementing the financial inclusion strategy of the country. The paper, thus, recommends a steadfast implementation of the regulatory sandbox and the establishment of fintech associations to improve their role. Increasing customer awareness, issuing digital ID, using tax identification certificates, and enhancing service provider readiness are also suggested to develop the right value prepositions and improve DFS consumption.


A Thesis Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Masters of Executive‘s Business Administrations


DFS, Fintechs, Financial Inclusion