Articles by Christine Hougaard
Despite advances in digital technology, cash has remained the undisputed king of payments in sub-Saharan Africa. However, as Michaella Allen and Christine Hougaard at Cenfri explain, COVID-19 has placed a stigma on cash and led governments across the region to actively encourage digital payments. They explore the implications of this shift, and whether it could make central bank digital currencies a viable alternative.
In Mozambique, the combination of infrastructure deficit caused by colonial neglect and civil war, a centralist political economy, the sheer scale of poverty, and limited formal sector employment opportunities creates sharp income inequalities and shapes a "citadel economy," where high walls separate those inside and outside the enclave. This keeps financial service providers from reaching excluded target markets in the informal and agrarian economy. Christine Hougaard at Cenfri explores the problem and its potential solutions.