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Financing agriculture and rural areas in sub-Saharan Africa: progress, challenges and the way forward

Richard L. Meyer

Working paper

In spite of investments and policy reforms, Sub-Saharan African countries lag in supplying financial services for agriculture and rural areas. New products, delivery channels, and partnerships, along with greater attention to savings, provide fresh optimism that this situation will be corrected. This paper examines several examples, with special attention to developments with savings groups and financial innovations with mobile phones and information and communication technologies (ICT). The telecom revolution and other innovations suggest that their use may leapfrog some difficult transportation and communication problems that drive up transaction costs and risks, and restrict financial inclusion for the poor.

Publication information

  • IIED code: 14652IIED
  • Published: Mar 2015 - IIED
  • Theme: Food and agriculture
  • ISBN: 978-1-78431-186-5
  • Language: English

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Project information

Most rural Africans now live and farm in liberalised markets, which most African and international policy forums assume to be the best basis for economic activities. But there is considerable debate about these developments, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.

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Africa’s evolving food systems

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