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Interview with Dr Loyiso Maciko


Dr Loyiso Maciko joined the Wits School of Governance as a Tayarisha Centre postdoctoral fellow in June 2023

Postdoctoral Fellow at TayarishaDr Loyiso Maciko holds a Ph.D. in economics. His doctoral journey focused on financial inclusion in South Africa, with a particular emphasis on improving access and usage of financial services for those residing in rural areas. His research aimed to understand the challenges and barriers faced by underserved communities and develop strategies to promote inclusive financial practices.

Throughout his academic journey, he has delved deep into the intricacies of economic development and seeks to contribute to creating a more equitable and sustainable financial landscape in South Africa.

Zibusiso Manzini-Moyo interviewed Dr Maciko.

ZMM: Tell us about your area/field of interest.

LM: My area of interest revolves around leveraging technology to enhance public services for the citizens of this country. I am particularly focused on exploring innovative approaches to expanding financial services to rural areas, aiming to foster an inclusive economy that benefits all segments of the population. Moreover, I am dedicated to researching ways in which government can optimize its efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery, without neglecting or excluding those living in rural communities. By combining technology-driven solutions and a commitment to inclusivity, I seek to contribute to the betterment of public services and overall socioeconomic development in the country.

ZMM: Why did you choose the field of study?

LM: This field of interest holds significant importance as it offers a platform to address the persistent challenges faced by South Africa, including poverty and inequality, unemployment, inefficient service delivery, and the need for improved social services for vulnerable groups. Given my familiarity with these issues, I am driven by a strong desire to explore how economics can effectively respond to these social service challenges, ultimately using my education to contribute meaningfully to the betterment of communities. It is crucial to emphasize that addressing these complex challenges requires continuous collaboration among the South African government, civil society, and citizens, as we collectively seek sustainable solutions and work towards building a more equitable and efficient system of public services.

ZMM: What are some of the key discoveries you made in your work relating to societal challenges?

LM: Most social challenges have the potential to significantly hinder the attainment of key Sustainable Development Goals. Notably, SDG 1 on eradicating poverty, SDG 2 on achieving food security and ending hunger, SDG 3 on promoting health and well-being, SDG 5 on fostering gender equality and empowering women economically, SDG 8 on encouraging economic growth and job creation, and SDG 10 on reducing inequality can all be substantially improved through enhanced financial inclusion. To achieve this, it is crucial to establish a range of accessible institutions with improved service offerings that are closely connected to the people. A united effort involving government, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector is necessary to ensure the realization of this goal. The key focus of service delivery should be on being customer-oriented, meeting the needs and aspirations of the citizens, and promoting inclusivity to drive sustainable development.

ZMM: Is there any community-based work that you have done or are doing?


  • I am actively engaged in several initiatives, which include being:
  • A valued community of practice member involved in developing standards for the Council for Higher Education.
  • A dedicated facilitator of financial inclusion initiatives for Global Change Investors.
  • An advisor to Marketwise, contributing expertise in relevant areas such as financial inclusion.
  • A reviewer for the African Journal of Economic and Management Studies, helping maintain the journal's academic rigor and quality.
  • A social commentator on SA FM, offering insights and perspectives on pertinent social and economic issues.

These involvements reflect my commitment to making meaningful contributions in various domains, and I am passionate about using my expertise to foster positive change and impact within my community and beyond.

ZMM: What are your next goals?


  • My objective is to actively contribute to Tayarisha's growth by spearheading the development of the GovTech incubator.
  • I am dedicated to exploring innovative strategies that empower the Government to embrace digital technologies effectively, leveraging Geotech’s potential to elevate digital governance, stimulate innovation, and foster robust collaboration among government entities, the private sector, and civic actors.
  • I aim to identify and implement methods for the government to deliver services more cohesive, citizen-centric, and responsive. This will involve the use of integrated web portals and facilitating seamless integration of services provided across different policy domains.

ZMM: Tell us about your experience thus far at Wits.

LM: I have settled in seamlessly and have become well-acquainted with Tayarisha's mandate. Building relationships has proven essential in establishing a supportive network and gaining a comprehensive understanding of Tayarisha's internal operations and dynamics.