Financial Inclusion in the COVID-19 Era: Policy Responses in West Africa   [open pdf - 0B]

From the Document: "The success of mobile money (MM) in East Africa since its introduction in 2007 has spawned a greater interest in issues of financial inclusion across Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Since 2010, a growing number of SSA countries have prioritized financial inclusion as a key driver of development and the Sustainable Development Goals. Several have either launched or are developing national financial inclusion strategies and have signed up to various compacts aimed at boosting financial inclusion. MM services are at the core of these strategies, and many financial regulators are scaling up efforts to make these services an integral part of national payments infrastructure. According to the World Bank's Global Findex report (2017), the share of adults in SSA with access to accounts in financial institutions or MM services increased from 34 percent to 43 percent in the period, 2011 to 2017. The report further states that whereas the share of adults in SSA with accounts in financial institutions remained flat over this period, adults with MM accounts nearly doubled, from 12 percent in 2014 to 21 percent in 2017. SSA is now a global leader in the use of MM, accounting for 45.6 percent of the world's MM customers. This progress notwithstanding, the region is still home to the world's largest unbanked population and has a wide gender gap in terms of access."

Wilson Center
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