Microfinance in Zimbabwe: A Historical Overview

Stephen Mago


The purpose of this paper is to provide a historical overview of microfinance development in Zimbabwe. The paper adopted a historical analysis approach. Information was gathered from secondary sources about microcredit and microfinance. Historical analysis’ main advantage is its ability to establish a context or background for us to set a contemporary study in microfinance. Findings show that microfinance is a new phenomenon that evolved from microcredit. Globally, the idea of microcredit dates back to the 15th century. For Zimbabwe, microcredit started in the 20th century (slightly above 4 centuries later). The paper used historical sources which may not provide robust results. The analysis is important for the development of the microfinance industry. Knowledge of microfinance historical antecedents is likely to contribute to our understanding of the current microfinance sector conditions in the country, thus influencing policy. Most papers, when narrating the history of microfinance start from the 1970s when Yunus started microcredit programs in Bangladesh. This history is not wholly true because Yunus did not start from zero, microfinance was only re-kindled by Yunus but it has had a long and old history. This paper argues that the roots of microfinance go before the 1970s.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2013.v4n14p599

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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