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Malawi, advancing steadily towards financial inclusion

The outlook for Financial Inclusion in Malawi continues to improve, driven by new products and reach of market actors. The technology infrastructure for financial service is improving, finally implementing a much needed national switch[ to improve interconnectivity between banks. Mobile Money is maturing, seeing the entrance of a second major player in the market, TNM, in addition to dominant Airtel. Evidence of success from a 2011 agent banking initiative by the Reserve Bank of Malawi can be seen from the number of Commercial Bank Agents present in districts where traditional brick and mortar bank branches are not. Even mobile money seems to be actively adopting a similar strategy of using established retail outlets for agent roll-out, circumventing infrastructure woes prone to small agents.

Malawi, advancing steadily towards financial inclusion

The outlook for Financial Inclusion in Malawi continues to improve, driven by new products and reach of market actors. The technology infrastructure for financial service is improving, finally implementing a much needed national switch[ to improve interconnectivity between banks. Mobile Money is maturing, seeing the entrance of a second major player in the market, TNM, in addition to dominant Airtel. Evidence of success from a 2011 agent banking initiative by the Reserve Bank of Malawi can be seen from the number of Commercial Bank Agents present in districts where traditional brick and mortar bank branches are not. Even mobile money seems to be actively adopting a similar strategy of using established retail outlets for agent roll-out, circumventing infrastructure woes prone to small agents.

Ethiopia: A first look at the financial inclusion landscape

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.

Ethiopia: A first look at the financial inclusion landscape

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.

Place Matters: Identifying Priority Areas for Financial Inclusion in Kenya

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.

Place Matters: Identifying Priority Areas for Financial Inclusion in Kenya

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.

A Look at the Geographic Distribution of Financial Institutions in Peru

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.

A Look at the Geographic Distribution of Financial Institutions in Peru

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: One Country, Two Realities?

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.

Ghana: One Country, Two Realities?

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.

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