Policy expertise

Closing the gap: Assessing financial sector skills shortages in Tanzania

Policy Area
Financial Sector Deepening Trust (FSDT), Tanzania
January - September 2013
OPM contact

This assessment has provided a crucial evidence base to inform initiatives that eradicate skills gaps and strenghten financial markets in Tanzania. Skills shortages cause systemic weaknesses in financial markets throughout sub-Saharan Africa, reducing their ability to effectively serve lower-income populations. We were selected by the Financial Sector Deepening Trust in Tanzania (FSDT) to undertake a stock-take of skills in the Tanzanian financial sector to identify the extent and nature of these critical skills gaps. Work focused around a combination of desk-based and field research instruments including literature reviews, stakeholder interviews and surveys to assess exisitng skills and current and future unmet needs in the sector. The team also developed an implementation plan and a data collection methodology to enable FSDT to monitor skills development in the financial sector in the future, assisting the roll-out and refinement of interventions that address skills shortages and support the development of stronger, more inclusive finacinal markets in Tanzania.

Financial sector skills shortages present a major challenge to the development of inclusive, accessible financial markets across a number of sub-Saharan African countries. This is the case in Tanzania where skills shortages and capacity lags have caused systemic weaknesses, reducing the sector’s ability to effectively meet the needs of lower income sectors of the population. As a result, access to financial access across the country is low, especially in rural areas.

Overcoming these skills gaps relies on understanding the extent of the problem in order to identify areas for rapid improvement. This project was established to address this need by assessing the scale and nature of financial skills shortages across Tanzania.


We developed an innovative analytical framework to guide a comprehensive financial skills stock-take across Tanzania. A number of research instruments were used to collect key data which was then analysed to build a representative picture of the existing skills landscape and aid the identification of current and unmet needs.

Key areas of work included:

  • Undertaking desk-based research including reviews of wider literature on financial sector capacity analysis
  • Conducting interviews with key stakeholders including financial sector employees, industry associations, suppliers of capacity building services and donors involved in financial sector development
  • Developing a questionnaire and sampling methodology and surveying a number of key public and private sector institutions
  • Conducting in-depth reviews of human resource and training information and documentation from sample institutions
  • Completing a supply-side mapping exercise of financial sector capacity building services
  • Management and facilitation of two key stakeholder workshops to discuss methodology, share findings and discuss potential initiatives to address skills gaps identified

In addition, the team developed an implementation plan and data collection ‘tool-kit’ to guide future monitoring and analysis and enable FSDT to effectively track the effects of its initiatives over time and build on successful interventions.


This comprehensive stock-take has provided FSDT with crucial insights into the financial sector skills landscape in Tanzania. By improving the Trust’s understanding of current and future capacity gaps in the sector, we have helped inform the design of initiatives aimed at addressing these gaps. Additionally, by providing a standard methodology and implementation, we are supporting the continued monitoring of skills development and the identification and refinement of successful initiatives. Over the longer-term, effective implementation of these initiatives will support FSDT to meet its aims of improving access to, and quality of, financial services for lower-income people in Tanzania.

Principal Consultant
Associate Consultant