World Bank to help Africa expand financial inclusion

  • Written by  Xinhua

The World Bank's private sector arm on Wednesday said it will assist Africa to expand financial inclusion through leveraging on technology.

Lesley Denyes, program manager of the Financial Institutions Group Africa at the International Finance Corporation (IFC) said Africa has the lowest level of financial inclusion globally.

"We are going to work with the private sector and especially the financial services sector, e-commerce platforms and telecoms to expand financial inclusion through digital financial services," Denyes said during the Second Annual Learning Event for the AgriFin Accelerate Program (AFA) that was hosted by Mercy Corps, in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation.

Denyes said IFC will seek to expand access to financial services by conducting diagnostics and building technologies to discover where there are untapped markets for financial services.

IFC has just concluded a 37.4 million U.S. dollars six-year project that involved 23 projects in 13 African countries that aimed at boosting financial inclusion.

Denyes said that under the project, 4.7 million Africans were provided access to financial services. She said access to financial inclusion is a key economic driver as it promotes both savings and access to credit.

She said Africa lags the rest of the world in financial inclusion due to lack of private sector investment in the financial services sector.

"The investments into Africa's financial sector are constrained due to low commodities prices, unstable economies as well as currency fluctuations," she said.

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