Ivory Coast government and BCEAO join forces to raise access to banking services

Apr 17, 2012

The Ivory Coast government is working to promote access to banking services throughout the nation, as the country currently has an access rate of 14.67 percent.

The Ivory Coast government is working to promote access to banking services throughout the nation, as the country currently has an access rate of 14.67 percent.

"This rate remains disappointing, especially as the government is looking at creating the conditions for a strong growth and wishes to transform the country into an emerging economy by 2020," said Cabinet Director of the Finance Minister Ahoutou Koffi, quoted by Fraternité Matin newspaper.

He added in a speech on April 11th that the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) was asked to implement measures to raise the level of access to banking services, including the launch of a large awareness campaign within the member states of the West African Economic and Monetary Union.

According to the BCEAO's National Director Jean-Baptiste Ayayé Aman, quoted by Fraternité Matin, greater efforts must be made to encourage people to use banks and payment methods, including the implementation of more accessible prices.

Mobile banking, which allows users to access payment or money transfer services via mobile phone, has an important role to play in extending the coverage of banks.

Orange Money, launched in 2008 in the Ivory Coast, can widen access to banking services for the whole population, even in isolated rural areas, as long as they have mobile coverage.

The potential for mobile banking solutions is significant in the Ivory Coast. Just two million people in the nation have a bank account, but 16 million have a mobile phone contract, Jeune Afrique newspaper reports.
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