One of the pillars of the Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016 is the promotion of equitable access to financial services generating mass employment and reducing poverty

According to FinScope Survey data, some 72% of the adult Rwandan population was already using financial products and services through both the formal and informal sectors in 2012. This puts Rwanda at one of the highest levels of financial inclusion in East Africa and is remarkable when we consider that the 2008 FinScope Survey reported the percentage of excluded adults at 52% as opposed to 28% in 2012.

In recent years, we have seen a proliferation of data in the field of financial inclusion, in part generated through the advent of new technologies (mapping and georeferencing among them), and thanks to an infusion of crucial investments. Well-calibrated policy choices depend on such data, but the link between policy and information comes in the form of analysis that transforms data into applicable knowledge.

While mobile money has only recently begun to reshape the financial inclusion landscape in Senegal, a well-established microfinance sector, the largest in the West African Economic and Monetary Union[1] (WAEMU) with 27% of WAEMU total deposits and 36% of WAEMU’s total gross loan portfolio remains key to increasing access to financial services for low income people.

Benin is a small country characterized by its sizeable informal economy and the substantial share of GDP generated by the agricultural sector. Poverty remains high, especially outside urban areas and one third of the Beninese live below the national poverty line. The agriculture sector is working to maximize its potential through increasing the level of processing of agricultural products.

Ivory Coast has long been a thriving economy within the West African Economic and Monetary Union[1] (WAEMU). It remains a regional power despite a decade of political crisis that culminated at the end of 2010 when the two presidential candidates both claimed to have won the election. This led to a national conflict that weakened the economy and made the population more vulnerable.

With the signing of the Maya Declaration in 2011, Zambia’s government formalized its commitment to financial inclusion. The Bank of Zambia (BOZ) pledged to work towards four key goals:

Uganda is a key market in the rapidly evolving financial landscape of the East African Community (EAC). New infrastructure developments, ongoing technological advancements, and an increasing focus from both the public and private sectors on financial services make this a pivotal time to begin monitoring financial inclusion developments across the country.

Which districts have the highest concentration of financial inclusion actors? How does the coverage of these services correlate with the basic demography and infrastructure across a given country?

In partnership with the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), member of the Inter-American Development Bank Group, MIX has launched 3 new Maps of Financial Inclusion – Peru, Guatemala, and Bolivia – to allow users to view the extent of financial services outreach in rural areas. With these maps, local policymakers and practitioners can begin identifying trends in what types of financial institutions are available in each market and better understand the scope of financial support to rural households and their livelihoods.