The Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) jointly organize a conference September 20, 2016 in Dakar to examine the prospects and possibilities of promoting financial inclusion in Africa from West.
Access to financial services is crucial to achieve growth that reduces poverty, accumulate capital and increase productivity, but on average, only 34% of the adult population in sub-Saharan Africa has access to these services – under 18 % in the West African economic and monetary Union region (UEMOA), the countries will be represented at the conference. Access to financial services has increased in most WAEMU countries, but remains lower than in other regions.
The Dakar conference will aim to examine the impact of financial inclusion on growth and poverty reduction. It will bring together leaders, international experts, central bankers and bankers, as well as representatives of civil society and the private sector. The conference will examine in particular how to improve financial inclusion in West Africa. The participants will discuss the problems encountered by WAEMU countries as they seek to increase access to financial services for all, while managing the associated challenges and risks in control.
The Deputy Director of the IMF, Mitsuhiro Furusawa will attend the conference and deliver the opening address. He will also meet the Senegalese authorities. Before his arrival in Senegal, Mr. Furusawa will travel to Conakry to meet with Guinean authorities.
“We look forward to hearing the views of all our partners in WAEMU, as well as other experts, examining the challenges and opportunities of regional financial inclusion,” said Mr. Furusawa. “The IMF maintains a constructive dialogue with the BCEAO on this issue, and the Dakar conference allows us to include government officials and other stakeholders in the dialogue. This is a concrete way for the IMF to help improve the quality of life of the people of West Africa. “
The talks should focus on identifying barriers to access to financial services for households and small businesses, retail banking, the role of microfinance institutions and mobile banking, and risk management for checks that are related to non-traditional financial players. The conference will also attract the East African speakers, where significant results have been achieved in financial inclusion.