A message from the Making Finance Work for Africa Secretariat

Jan 22, 2019

Dear readers,

On behalf of the entire Making Finance Work for Africa (MFW4A) team, we would like to wish you all a happy and prosperous new year 2019. We would like to take this opportunity to highlight our 2018 achievements, and also to present our program for this new year.

Last year was the beginning of our new triennial strategy 2018-2020. To continue to be the reference platform for advocacy, knowledge sharing and cooperation on financial sector development in Africa, we have identified three key objectives: (i) to strengthen our value proposition and financial sustainability, (ii) to expand membership and (iii) to sharpen our focus to short, medium and long-term outcomes. Our new strategy has already started to bear fruit with Afreximbank joining the MFW4A Partnership as the first African financial institution.

Our work in supporting a strong and stable African financial sector continued in 2018. MFW4A organized a series of financial sector dialogues in collaboration with the African Development Bank (ADB), covering the five (5) regions of the continent. Those high-level events provided a a platform for the African financial sector to take stock of the progress and identify future priority actions through a common roadmap. Over 130 participants from central banks, ministries, regulators, and the private sector have been mobilized for the first two editions dedicated to West, Southern, and East Africa. Central and Northern Africa financial sector dialogues are scheduled for the first quarter of 2019.

Our work in supporting remittances and diaspora investment led to the delivery of two studies funded by the Migration and Development Fund. The first, “A Systematic Approach to Supporting Diaspora Investment in Africa” led to the design of a toolkit that can be used by a range of stakeholders to undertake develop diaspora investment projects . A second study explored “The Risks and Opportunities of Digitization on the Remittances Market in the WAEMU and CEMAC zones”. Both studies will be published in both English and French in February 2019.

Long-term finance remains a key priority for MFW4A. During the first African Investment Forum (AIF) held in Johannesburg, MFW4A participated as a Knowledge and Research Partner and co-led the Institutional Investors work stream, mobilizing local institutional investors to the forum to discuss issues of the highest relevance, including on investment strategies, de-risking and the regulatory environment.

2018 has also been a year where a new work stream has been introduced. MFW4A launched a Trade Finance initiative with the support of the African Development Bank and the German Development Agency (GIZ), with the objectives of improving market knowledge and capacities of actors, overcoming regulatory obstacles, and reducing risks related to operations with international banks, in order to stimulate trade finance on the continent. Under this initiative and in collaboration with AfDB and the International Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), we delivered a capacity building program intended for 35 African countries and over 500 specialists operating in more than 200 local banks.

Lastly, we will continue to leverage our network to support the data collection process under the Africa Long-term Finance Initiative. A country diagnostic and a scorecard for Côte d’Ivoire are expected to be completed in 2019.

In closing, I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to all our funding partners, stakeholders and supporters for your unwavering support. We look forward to your continued collaboration. With our best wishes for 2019.

The MFW4A Secretariat

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