Ethiopia is the tenth largest country in Africa by size, and the second most populous country in Africa after Nigeria. In 2013, Ethiopia’s GNI per capita was $470, much lower than the Sub-Saharan Africa average of $1,615. Poverty levels are high, and the Human Development Index (HDI) ranking was 173 out of 187 countries in 2012. Ethiopia also has one of the lowest financial access rates in Sub-Saharan Africa, where only 14 percent of adults have access to credit. However, Ethiopia is the fastest growing non-oil economy in Africa and has been active in promoting economic growth.
Having jumped from an inclusion rate of 27.4% in 2006 to 66.7% in 2013 in formal financial services, Kenya is a darling of the financial inclusion world. Mobile banking, especially Safaricom’s M-Pesa, is of notable importance to Kenyan’s access to financial services. But beyond mobile, a combination of partnerships, policy, products, and regulation[iii] have all been major contributors to Kenya’s success. Lessons learned from previous mistakes and an expansion of services have equated to systemic growth all while mitigating risk. To this end, the missing ingredient for inclusive growth appeared to be the availability of cash-in/cash-out access points to broad sections of the population.
FINclusionLab has recently added Peru to the list of countries for which centralized access is available to a database on financial services locations at a regional and sub-regional level. This noteworthy achievement makes Peru the first Latin American country to be incorporated into this financial inclusion platform.
Ghana has experienced strong economic growth over the past two decades, representing the fastest-growing economy in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2011. Now the country is classified as a middle income country by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Yet, this economic boom has come with important challenges. About a quarter of the population still lives below the poverty line, firms lack access to affordable credit, and nearly half of Ghanaians either have no access to financial products or do not use them.
Tanzania, a country well-known for its extraordinary landscape and wildlife, receives thousands of tourists each year. They visit the country to see lions, elephants, and giraffes in their natural environment, climb to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, and stretch out on the beaches of Zanzibar.
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 (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.