Sizakele Dlamini is The New Centre For Financial Inclusion CEO

By Phiwa Sikhondze

The Ministry of Finance has appointed Sizakele Dlamini as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Centre for Financial Inclusion (CFI).

Before being appointed, Dlamini held the position of Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and succeeds Nomcebo Hadebe in the above-mentioned position.

The announcement was made by Manqoba Khumalo, Minister of Commerce Industry and Trade, representing the Minister of Finance Neal Rijkenberg, during a press briefing on Thursday afternoon.

CFI, a semi-autonomous entity under the Ministry of Finance, was established in 2016 with the mandate to drive the financial inclusion Agenda. Financial inclusion is globally recognized as a crucial enabler for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In alignment with this vision, Eswatini launched its second National Financial Inclusion Strategy 2023-2028 last month, aiming to build on past successes by enhancing the usage and impact of financial services.

The new strategy focuses on several critical areas: deepening understanding of the segments benefiting from financial inclusion, such as underprivileged households, youth, women, entrepreneurs, and micro and small businesses; generating data and knowledge to better meet their intrinsic needs and integrate them with the financial system. It also focuses on developing cost-effective institutions that can support the delivery of financial services; establishing regulatory mechanisms to protect the financial system; and enhancing the capacity and reach of Government Funding Schemes like the RDF, Small-scale Enterprise Guarantee Scheme, and Youth Revolving Fund.

The CFI Council has been tasked with creating a transformative Strategic Plan to ensure the organization achieves these outcomes. In light of these ambitious goals, the Ministry of Finance has recognized the need to re-engineer CFI’s structure and operations.

Dlamini, who has been seconded from her role as Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, brings over a decade of experience, having held significant roles such as Director of Corporate Service and Supply Chain, Head of Policy & Planning, and most recently, Principal Secretary.

Her extensive background in financial management, policy formulation, and implementation is expected to be a major asset for CFI. Dlamini has been instrumental in advancing financial policies that promote inclusion and stability, making her an ideal leader to guide the Center toward achieving its objectives.

“We are confident that under her leadership, the Center for Financial Inclusion will continue to thrive and make significant strides in promoting financial inclusion in Eswatini. Her commitment to financial development positions her perfectly to lead the Center towards achieving its goals,” Khumalo noted.

Upon her appointment, Dlamini shared her vision for CFI, emphasizing the importance of collaboration and innovation in achieving financial inclusion.

“I am honoured to take on this role at such a pivotal time for CFI. Our goal is to ensure that financial services are not only accessible but also effectively used to drive economic growth and improve lives. We will work closely with all stakeholders to develop innovative solutions that meet the needs of our diverse population, particularly the underprivileged, youth, women, and small businesses,” she said.

Dlamini also highlighted the importance of data and knowledge generation in shaping effective financial inclusion strategies.

“Understanding the intrinsic needs of different segments of our society is crucial. We need to generate robust data and insights to create tailored financial solutions that truly benefit our people,” she said.

Moreover, Khumalo also announced that Director Budget and Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance Mr Vusi Dlamini will now assume the position of Acting Principal Secretary.

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