World Bank to help Africa expand financial inclusion through technology

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The World Bank’s private sector arm on Wednesday said it would assist Africa to expand financial inclusion through leveraging on technology.
Lesley Denyes, the Programme Manager of the Financial Institutions Group Africa at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), said during the Second Annual Learning Event for the AgriFin Accelerate Program (AFA).
The event was hosted by Mercy Corps, in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation.
“Africa has the lowest level of financial inclusion globally.
“We are going to work with the private sector, especially the financial services sector, e-commerce platforms and telecoms to expand financial inclusion through digital financial services,’’ Denyes said.
Denyes said that 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 six-year project that involved 23 projects in 13 African countries aimed at boosting financial inclusion.
Denyes said that under the project, 4.7 million Africans were provided access to financial services.
According to her, access to financial inclusion is a key economic driver as it promotes both savings and access to credit.
“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,’’ Denyes said.

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