According to the African Development Bank (AfDB) Vice-President, Pierre Guislain, “Africa is a pioneer in mobile banking and digital finance is a powerful lever we can use to deliver real change for the people at the bottom of the pyramid.”
Guislain chaired the session on digital finance and resilience for people at the bottom of the pyramid, hosted by the Bank’s Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialisation Complex.
Discussions focused on exploring linkages between digital technologies and development impact focusing on innovative solutions that can enhance the quality of life of the people in Africa.
“Africa has benefited hugely from the cellular revolution,” Guislain said, noting that about half the world’s mobile money providers operate in Sub-Saharan Africa, where as many as 80% of the people have access to mobile phones.
Digital finance taking shape
“Africa is a pioneer in the FinTech space and I firmly believe that there is huge potential that can be unlocked by leveraging innovative digital tools for inclusive growth in emerging economies. The digital revolution holds the same potential today as the cellular revolution 20 years ago. We need to unlock it,” Guislain said.
The Bank’s objective is to provide universal financial services to 90% of African adults by 2025. A number of transformative digital payment projects have been launched to support this objective. Read more…
Agri Porte Monnaie Electronique (E-wallets), a joint project of Togo’s Agriculture and Digital Economy ministries is one such initiative.
The project, launched in 2016, provides subsidies to farmers through electronic wallets. To date, 76,522 out of 150,000 small-scale farmers have been identified and registered for the project.
However, unique identification was flagged as one of the major challenges undermining efforts made by digital finance players to accelerate financial inclusion of the most vulnerable populations.
An option to resolving this challenge, Guislain urged actors to reflect and learn from best practices, especially Aadhaar, a unique authentication and identification platform in India.
Aadhaar is currently the world’s largest biometric ID system, with over 1.2 billion enrolled members.
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