Providing the tools for financial freedom in Tanzania

By: Ibrahim Mshindo,, Director, Business Development, Dar es Salaam Stock Exchanges Plc Nov 2021

As part of the World Investor Week (4th-10th October 2021) the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchanges PLC (DSE) participated in the “Ring the Bell for Financial Literacy” campaign to educate and create a better understanding of the role of exchanges and what part they play in the financial ecosystem.

WIW is a global initiative of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), aimed at raising awareness about the importance of investor education and protection, and highlighting the various initiatives of securities regulators in these two critical areas. For the third consecutive year, IOSCO partnered with the World Federation of Exchanges on “Ring the Bell for Financial Literacy” in support of WIW.

DSE was among the Members of the WFE who rang their bells for a cause that remains a critical element of DSE’s goal of advancing financial inclusion. We recognise the importance of equipping under-represented communities with the financial knowledge to empower them to build a prosperous future and participate in an ecosystem that supports and sustains their growth.

On Friday 8th October, DSE had a short seminar and a quiz competition for the girls of two secondary schools. The quiz questions, among others, aimed at building an understanding of the role and function of the financial market’s ecosystem, with a focus on saving and investment education. Mr Moremi Marwa, the CEO of DSE, noted that it is “important for young girls of your age to start appreciating the importance of saving for the purpose of investing, right at the beginning.”

Mr Marwa used the event to outline the different initiatives that the DSE has been carrying out to increase financial literacy and awareness among different segments of society, such as young people, women, and SME owners.

For the youth in Tanzania, DSE has been running an edutainment challenge each year, called the DSE Scholar Investment Challenge (DSE SIC). Students in colleges and secondary schools are provided with virtual capital to trade via mobile phone. They then decide whether to register to start investing in shares and bonds or put the virtual money in a bank savings account. The challenge usually runs for three months, at the end of which the top 10 students are invited to the Exchange for a final oral quiz. The top three competitors are given a cash prize, certificate, and the chance of an internship.

Every year, the DSE participates in the UN Women and UN Sustainable Stock Exchange (of which the DSE is a member) to Ring the Bell for Gender Equality. DSE and its partners use this annual event to encourage women in society to be part of the global gender equality agenda. DSE has also been encouraging its members – including listed companies – to observe the issue of gender equality and ensure women are represented at the decision-making level.

For SMEs, DSE has launched a capacity building project called the DSE Enterprise Acceleration Programme (DEAP) and DSE Enterprise Acceleration Segment “Endeleza”

Enhancing capacity

DEAP is a capacity building programme aimed at enhancing the technical capacity of executives in medium-sized companies who foresee raising capital through sources such as private equity funds, venture capital funds, crowdfunding platforms, and capital market frameworks.

The idea for DEAP grew from stakeholders, as well as DSE’s own experiences of six years running its second-tier Enterprise Growth Market (EGM) and that of similar exchanges from 2013 to 2018. EGM had five listed companies up to December 2018, and one of the key challenges facing the SME sector is access to finance, which is in part a product of the technical capacity challenges they must overcome.

It is against this background that DSE and other stakeholders introduced DEAP in January 2020.

The programme involves three phases:

i) Experiential Learning

ii) Coaching and Mentoring

iii) Networking – the SMEs Enterprise Acceleration Segment (known as ENDELEZA)

Enhancing visibility

ENDELEZA is part of the DEAP programme, and is basically a designated non-trading segment at the DSE aimed at profiling and enhancing visibility for qualifying SMEs.

The ultimate objective is to provide an enabling linkage/platform for qualifying SMEs to engage with potential private capital providers (investors and/or financiers) such as Private Equity Funds, Venture Capital Funds, Angel Investors, Crowdfunding Platforms, Development Finance Institutions, or Banks, as part of their preparations for an IPO.

ENDELEZA was launched on 3rd August 2021, and nine qualifying SMEs have already been admitted, from sectors including agro-processing, fintech, ICT, and microfinance. These companies can be viewed at under the ENDELEZA link.

In November 2020, DSE listed one company on its EGM segment as a result its involvement in the DEAP programme, bringing the total number of EGM-listed companies to six.