The event was jointly organised by the Bank's Financial Inclusion Division, and Making Finance Work for Africa (MFW4A).
DFW brought together Bank staff and speakers from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CGAP, Mercy Corps and the Gates Foundation to explore how digital channels like mobile phones offer a unique opportunity to expand financial inclusion in Africa. Private sector operators including Cellulant, MTN, Kopo Kopo, Advans, Bima and Leapfrog discussed how Digital Financial Services are enabling the provision of payment, credit, and insurance services to segments of the population excluded from traditional financial services across the continent. AfDB Staff from the Agriculture and Agro-industries (OSAN), Transport and ICT (OITC), Energy Environment and Climate Change (ONEC) and Financial Integration (ONRI) departments joined Financial Sector Development department ((OFSD) and MFW4A to discuss the role of the Bank is supporting the expansion of digital financial services, and showcase Bank projects are leveraging technology to improve the rural lives, by enabling access to critical inputs for farmers and access to energy and education.
Participants agreed in their discussions that digital financial services have the power to support the achievement of the Bank's High-5 priorities (Light up and power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialise Africa, Integrate Africa, Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa) and transform lives across Africa. They recognised the need to remove barriers to further development of digital financial services by improving regulation, infrastructure, security of online transactions, consumer education and protection, as well as access to finance for African fintech companies.
In his closing remarks Mr Stefan Nalletamby, Ag. Vice-President of Infrastructure, Private Sector and Regional Integration, said that the discussions during the event had reinforced the Bank's conviction that the technological revolution offers an unparalleled opportunity to improve the lives of the poor. He called for the different departments working in this area to do so in the One Bank Spirit. Finally, Mr Nalletamby reminded participants of the need to place the end user, particularly the poor and vulnerable at the centre of everything they do for digital finance to reach its full potential.
You can download all the presentations here.
You can also view a selection of the photos here.