The Bank of Tanzania (“BoT”) has issued a notice to the public on 31 December 2018 (the “Notice”) in respect of the new Microfinance Bill/Act of 2018 (the “Legislation”) which, as far as we are aware, has not been passed, assented to or come into force as yet. The Legislation mandates the BoT to license, regulate and supervise all microfinance business in Tanzania.

The Legislation in its current form defines ‘microfinance business’ as a business that undertakes: receiving money, by way of deposits or interest on deposits or borrowing and which is lent to members or clients; accepting savings and providing loans or other credit facilities to micro or small enterprises and low income households or individuals; providing micro credit, micro-savings, micro-insurance, micro-leasing, micro-pension and micro-housing finance; transfer and payment services, including digital microfinance services; providing financial education; and any other related service as may be prescribed in the regulations which will be promulgated by the BoT.

The Notice states that the Legislation prohibits any person from carrying out any microfinance business, unless such person is licensed by the BoT and that the BoT is currently preparing regulations for the different categories of microfinance service providers identified in the Legislation, including licensing regulations.

All persons who are engaged in microfinance business as defined in the Legislation and set out above, are required to apply and obtain a license from the BoT and observe other requirements of the regulations, once they are promulgated and in force.
The Notice further stipulates that all persons who are engaged in microfinance business are required to submit the following information to the BoT by 11 January 2019, as may be applicable:

  1. Certificate of Incorporation;
  2. Business License issued by BRELA, the relevant licensing authority or the Ministry of Industry and Trade;
  3. Place of business and contact details.
  4. Physical location (Street, District and Region);
  5. Telephone number;
  6. Email address.
  7. List of owners, Board of Directors, Chief Executive Officer and their respective citizenship;
  8. All types of microfinance service products offered;
  9. Statement whether the business is audited annually or not;
  10. Description of accounting system and information and communication technology in use;
  11. The following financial statement details:
  • Total Assets;
  • Total Liabilities;
  • Owners’ Equity.

The information mentioned herein should be addressed to the Director of Financial Sector Supervision, BoT, Head Office, 6th Floor, North Tower, P. O. Box 2939, Dar es Salaam or emailed to; or

If you have any questions regarding this legal update, please contact Amish Shah by email on