Africa Progress Report Asks Governments To Promote Mobile Banking
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
A new report has urged African governments to emulate Kenya in supporting the development of mobile banking and electronic commerce to increase financial inclusion.
The Africa Progress Report 2014, released last week, says the success of the M-Pesa mobile payment platform has greatly enhanced financial inclusion in Kenya.
“African governments can also support the development of mobile banking and e-commerce to overcome financial exclusion, building on successes such as M-Pesa in Kenya. Development finance institutions should work with the private sector to foster more balanced perceptions of risk,” said the report released at the World Economic Forum in Abuja, Nigeria.
It says Africa’s growth has largely been constrained by low levels of access to formal financial systems.
“Only one in five Africans have any form of account at a formal financial institution, with the poor, rural dwellers and women facing the greatest disadvantage. Such financial exclusion undermines opportunities for reducing poverty and boosting growth that benefits all,” the report says.
It also paints a grim picture of access to insurance. It says that productive sectors like agriculture, which lack access to insurance, have constrained growth in many countries on the continent.