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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

FOFEI-SL Engages CSOs on Global Financial Inclusion Week

HomeAYV NewsFOFEI-SL Engages CSOs on Global Financial Inclusion Week

FOFEI-SL Engages CSOs on Global Financial Inclusion Week

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In particular, there has been significant appreciation of the role of financial institutions in improving levels of financial inclusion in Sierra Leone. However, there is much more to be done in tackling financial exclusion in the country as it is one of the highest in developing economies.

In order to observe the Global Financial Inclusion Week, Foundation for Financial and Economic Inclusion – Sierra Leone (FoFEI-SL) which is focus on Economic Justice and pro-poor approach to reduce economic exclusion engages CSOs on ‘Financial Inclusion for Sustainable Development’.

The Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Foundation for Financial and Economic Inclusion; Vandy Jasper Kamara gave a brief analysis of the country’s financial inclusion status. He said; the latest numbers from Global Findex, a comprehensive database on financial inclusion from the World Bank Group, reveal that in the developed world 94% are banked compared to 54% in the developing world. Mr. Jasper Kamara continue with his analysis; Sierra Leone remains among the world’s poorest countries, ranking 184th out of 189 countries in the Human Development Index report for 2018. Today, 60% of the youth in Sierra Leone are either under- or unemployed and the country have one of the highest unemployment rate in the world. 2018 Geospatial Data Analysis and Financial Inclusion studyindicated that out of 7.4 Million people in the country, only about one million Sierra Leoneans have an account with a formal financial institution (Bank) or microfinance institution (including Community Banks and Financial Services Associations). According to the World Bank Country Director for Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone, Henry G. H. Kerali; Only 19.8% of the adult population has accounts with formal institutions, compared to 42.6% in sub-Sahara Africa, which is not good at allfor the country’s growth prospect.

Mr. Vandy Jasper Kamara, says, this is the first time Sierra Leone as a country is joining the world to observe the Global Financial Inclusion Week (FIW), the team for this year is Financial Inclusion: For What?

It is a call to action to reexamine financial inclusion goals and renew efforts to achieve them. It’s a week of global conversation on the most important steps needed to advance financial inclusion towards the realization of Financial Health and Sustainable Development.

As access to finance, especially inclusive finance, is touted to be a key driver for reducing income inequality and poverty alleviation, it is important to understand:

Ø    The extent to which the various strategies for expanding financial inclusion are reducing income inequality and alleviating poverty, while making the necessary progress to achieve nationwide Access and the SDGs by 2030 and financial inclusion as highlighted in paragraph 39 of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.

Ø    Of the six million people plus without access, what percentage is seeking access but cannot attain it and what is being done to address this issue?

Ø    How can financial inclusion be improved through gender disaggregated data and financial literacy and numeracy programs?

To brainstorm possible ideas and contribute to allay these challenges / problems,we bring together different Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) whose primary focus is on economic justice, pro-poor approach and financial inclusion from across the country to observe the FIW, and to convene aroundthis year’s theme (Financial Inclusion: What for?). Later, a position paper will be developed from the discussion forum whichwill be presented to government and financial inclusion regulators.

 

 

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