Financial inclusion in Africa

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Financial inclusion across Africa is generally uneven, with access to basic financial services for the continent’s more than 1 billion people varying significantly from country to country. Despite Africa’s huge and potentially vibrant market, startup and expansion costs are greater than potential returns in a low-income continent—the main reason behind banks’ underinvestment.

However, the gap is somehow being filled by mobile banking—a key component of USAID Forward, which aims to deliver technology- and innovation-driven development. In a report released in March 2013, the U.N. Capital Development Fund asserts that switching from cash-based transactions to electronic payments effectively breaks geographical barriers and ultimately increases cost savings and financial inclusion.

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About the author

  • Juan Carlos Concepcion

    Juan Carlos is a former analyst at the Devex Manila Office. A strong advocate of civic education, he also teaches undergraduate courses on Philippine politics and governance.