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.
Ivory Coast has long been a thriving economy within the West African Economic and Monetary Union (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.
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.
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: