Connect with us

E-Financial

IFC, Mastercard Foundation Extend Financial Inclusion for Millions in Africa

Published

on

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, together with the Mastercard Foundation, released a new report documenting the transformation underway in financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The findings are based on lessons learned from joint projects that have resulted in access to new digital financial services for more than seven million users on the continent over the past six years.

Digital Access: The Future of Financial Inclusion highlights the phenomenal success of digital financial services in Sub-Saharan Africa and outlines the challenges still to be tackled to reach universal financial access.

It captures the experience and knowledge gained by IFC and the Mastercard Foundation in supporting the growth of digital finance in Africa under the joint Partnership for Financial Inclusion since 2012.

Working together with 14 microfinance institutions, banks, mobile network operators, and payments service providers across the continent, the joint initiative has resulted in 7.2 million new digital financial services users (a 250 percent increase from the baseline), 45,000 new banking agents, and $300 million in monthly transactions.

“Financial inclusion is one of Africa’s great success stories of this decade. Mobile money solutions and agent banking now offer affordable, instant, and reliable transactions, savings, credit, and even insurance opportunities in rural villages and urban neighborhoods where no bank had ever established a branch,” noted IFC’s Chief Executive Officer Philippe Le Houerou and Mastercard Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Reeta Roy in a joint foreword to the new report.

Financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa has increased dramatically over the past decade, from 23 percent in 2011 to 43 percent in 2017, according to recently released data from the World Bank Findex survey. Sub-Saharan Africa is the only region where the share of adults with a mobile money account exceeds 10 percent.

“The Partnership for Financial Inclusion has been an important actor in helping to drive financial inclusion in Africa,” said Ruth Dueck-Mbeba, Senior Program Manager at the Mastercard Foundation.

“We’re proud of the work that our partner, IFC, has led over the past six years. It has enabled millions of people to benefit from access to financial services. More than that, the knowledge that we’ve gained will lead to millions more people improving their lives and their communities by being able to join the formal financial services sector.”

There is an emerging body of evidence on the impact that digital financial inclusion can have on inclusive economic growth and development. A study in the report shows that smallholder cocoa farmers in Côte d’Ivoire who saved regularly were better able to feed their families than those who did not save, irrespective of the farmers’ annual income.

The same study also revealed that many smallholder cocoa farmers felt ‘socially excluded’ by traditional banks but were generally accepting of agent banking and digital services.

Mamie Kalonda, Chief Executive Officer of FINCA in the Democratic Republic of Congo, one of the client institutions of the Partnership for Financial Inclusion, said, “In the DRC, I expect digital financial services will grow even faster in the next five years. Almost all banks are going mobile.” She added,

“It is important to reach the rural areas, because that is where people are poor.”

In the DRC, the use of mobile money services had reached 16 percent in 2017, helping to push the overall financial inclusion rate from 3.7 percent to 26 percent in the same period.

Riadh Naouar, Head of IFC’s Financial Institutions Group Advisory in Sub-Saharan Africa, said, “Looking ahead, we can see some interesting trends for the future. While East Africa has long been the star performer in terms of the evolution of digital financial services, West Africa is the new growth market. Not only in terms of reach, but also for innovation.”

“There is a need in the broader industry across the continent to shift to the next generation of digital products,” he added. “A broader, more multi-faceted market is asking for more sophisticated and relevant products beyond person-to-person payments.

There are evident opportunities to develop digital banking, savings and credit products, as well as the digitization of value chain financing and merchant payments.”

The report noted some of the challenges that will have to be addressed to continue progress in financial inclusion.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Comments

E-Financial

CBN Predicts 3 pct GDP Growth in 2019

Published

on

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, expects the economy to pick up in 2019, forecasting a gross domestic product growth of 3 percent, up from 1.9 percent recorded last year, its governor Godwin Emefiele said.

Emefiele said the bank would maintain its tight monetary stance in 2019, and sees inflation at 11.31 percent in February and rising to 12 percent this year before moderating.

The governor, who is set to step down in June, told an economic conference in Lagos that the economy would see more growth as the recovery is becoming self-sustaining.

Economic growth has been recovering since the third quarter of 2016, when the recession bottomed out. Higher oil prices helped Nigeria exit that contraction. In 2018, the economy grew at its fastest pace since the recession.

Emefiele expects volatility in the crude oil market to put pressure on the currency but the central bank would maintain its stance on exchange rate over the next year.

He said more than $6 billion had flowed into the local bond market since last month’s presidential election as foreign investors piled into debt to lock in yields as high as 14 percent.

Bond investors had been worried elections would turn violent, not about who won. President Muhammadu Buhari has favoured a strong and stable currency, which bondholders hope will continue.

Buhari won a second term in charge of Africa’s biggest economy in February, defeating his pro-business rival Atiku Abubakar who had touted privatizations and float the currency as some of the ways to grow the economy.

 

Continue Reading

E-Financial

Andrew Dell, Ex-CEO of HSBC Africa Now Senior Advisor to Asoko Insight

Published

on

Asoko Insight, Africa’s leading corporate information platform, is delighted to announce the appointment of Andrew Dell as Senior Advisor.

 

As part of its 2019 plan to introduce leading-edge digital tools for global banks to identify and onboard African companies, Asoko Insight has brought on board Andrew Dell as Senior Advisor.

 

African banks and global investors endure significant challenges when it comes to the efficiency of industry sizing, lead generation, on-boarding, and KYC processes. In his role, Andrew will help expand Asoko’s Verify Africa platform among banks and private equity firms active across the continent, supporting their objectives to reduce due diligence costs and grow their pan-African footprint.

 

Rob Withagen, CEO, Asoko Insight said:  “Andrew’s experience and track record are second to none and we’re thrilled to have him on board. He brings a robust knowledge of the KYC and compliance issues that African banks face and which Asoko aims to overcome.”

 

Andrew Dell, Senior Advisor, Asoko Insight said, “Sourcing reliable information to identify, verify and onboard corporate clients across Africa is time-consuming and expensive. Asoko’s purpose-built solutions are addressing the challenge by providing enterprise-access to instant, accurate and up-to-date information on the continent’s leading growth markets, businesses and the people who run them.”

 

 

Continue Reading

E-Financial

Founder Open Vector to Address Nigerian Bankers on Open Banking Opportunities

Published

on

Carlos Figueredo, CEO and founder of Open Vector, a professional consultancy firm founded in 2017 with its forte in open banking, PSD2, GDPR and payments, he has consented to headline the Open Banking Masterclass, one of the key attractions of Lagos Fintech Week on April 23, 2019, in Lagos-Nigeria, West Africa.

According to the statement signed by the chairman organizing committee, Dr. Yele Okeremi, Lagos Fintech Week [LFW] is an invigorating week of distinct FinTech events that delivers exciting discussions, stimulating demos and insightful debates. “It is scheduled for April 23-26, 2019 at Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos”, he said.

He explained that Open Banking is a trend that is poised to transform how banking is done over the next decade. While only a few countries have started or are in the process of starting. The traction is so strong and it is expected that this trend will become dominant in five years.

“Nigeria cannot afford to lag behind, as we have had various conversations whether we should have open banking, how we should do it, and what are the benefits. This is why we are bringing an expert of Carlos’ status who has wealth of experience and fundamentals of the needs for Open Banking to lead the Masterclass at Lagos Fintech Week in April”.

He pointed out that Figueredo is a recognised open banking SME with over 20 years’ experience in payments, SWIFT, SEPA and PSD2 and started open banking in 2016 as the Head of Data Standards for the UK Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE).

Dr. Okeremi said that Figueredo oversaw the ISO 20022 based standard development and the relevant technical elements needed to integrate it across the array of product-based API’s for OBIE, which was the first initiative globally in the banking sector, or any other sector, to have done so.

“In quarter three of 2018 Open Vector was granted by the British Embassy of Mexico City and the Prosperity Fund a component of phase 1 of the Fintech Law delivery. Carlos worked alongside the CNBV (National Banking and Securities Commission) to develop and implement the data standards, which will go live in April 2019.

 

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2017 Communication Week Media Limited.