Empower Her project – a step towards reducing gender financial literacy gaps in Zambia

Published by philip.mensah on

Empower Her project - a step towards reducing gender financial literacy gaps in Zambia

By Ivana Mitrovic

Based on data from The Global Financial Inclusion Database in 2017, only 40% of women in Zambia had an account, 29% had an account with a financial institution, and only a quarter used mobile phones or the internet to access the account.


In 2022, AB Bank Zambia launched the “Women Empowerment Programme” to reduce gender financial literacy gaps and enhance women’s economic and entrepreneurial capabilities in Zambia. The bank partnered with Women’s Initiative for Delivering Clean Energy to Africa (Widenergy Africa Ltd), a women-led company that distributes solar energy solutions.

AccessHolding recognised the opportunity to engage in a good cause and joined the programme. Anna Aslanova, a learning and development expert, Ivana Mitrovic, a gender consultant and content creator and Brian O’Driscoll, an instructional design specialist, formed a team with one goal – to create and design financial literacy content for women on AH’s eLearning platform, ACCESSMIND.

In June 2022, the joint team (featuring representatives of AB Bank and AccessHolding) began work on the content.

The team held a virtual workshop to identify personas the content should target, and, as a result, devised four digital heroines that would tell stories about accounts, loans, savings, e-wallets and solar solutions.

Once the team knew ”who”, ”what”, and “how” came quickly.

Women’s empowerment is often viewed only in the context of the economic domain; however, while creating the content, the team considered all domains, as presented in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Domains of Women’s Empowerment

Source: Women’s empowerment and Savings Groups: Monitoring and results measurement toolkit -The SEEP Network

Considering AB Bank’s plan to deliver digital content using various methods and channels, it was imperative to train AB Bank and Widenergy representatives on the content and on how to deliver it appropriately to focus groups and women in the field. 



Anna and Ivana travelled to Lusaka and spent time transferring training skills and financial knowledge to the team.

After three days in the classroom environment, the project has been officially launched on the market in Chongwe, a small town in Zambia.

The launch was a success! Trainers interacted with almost 100 women and transferred key messages of importance for keeping records, comparing offers from various lenders, the benefits of savings and solar energy, and the convenience of e-wallets.

The project’s goal is to train 5,000 women, and the day spent in Chongwe assured us that this is achievable. The team witnessed the trainers’ energy and determination to teach even when it was raining. At the same time, interactions with the women at the market confirmed their interest in acquiring and benefiting from financial knowledge.  

Categories: Uncategorized