The Future of Microfinance in Tanzania
The central research question of this report concerns the success of microfinance in Tanzania as it relates to change in demography, in the structure of the banking system, and in the accessibility of personal mobile technology. The report provides an overall current assessment of Tanzania from a demographic, infrastructural, and economic perspective and analyzes particularly important trends. Each of these trends represents one of the three major forces of change from the central question, and serves as an independent variable that ultimately affects the dependent variable of the success of microfinance. For the purposes of this report, the success of microfinance is measured by the upward mobility of the Tanzanian population from poverty into the middle class. Based on available data, each trend is forecasted through the year 2015 and from these forecasts an expected scenario of growth in the microfinance industry in Tanzania is derived. An analysis of possible disruptions to this expected scenario leads to the development of three alternative scenarios: constraint, transformation, and collapse. The implications of each of these four scenarios are outlined, and the report concludes by making strategic recommendations involving goals that are robust regardless of which scenario transpires. Among these recommendations are continual improvements to infrastructure, the minimization of security risks associated with mobile banking, actively combating the learning curve that may hinder Tanzanians from adopting mobile technology, and maintaining close customer relationships that result from quality service.