Skip to main content

G7 partnership: Digital Financial Inclusion for Women in Africa: A Path to Recovery, Resilience, and Innovation

On the sidelines of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), the G7 Partnership for Women’s Digital Financial Inclusion in Africa and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) co-hosted an event in which key African leaders, the Partnership’s high-level core champions, and emerging advocates leading implementation efforts on the ground discussed the successes and barriers of women’s digital financial inclusion, and also highlighted the importance of collaborating across institutional boundaries to mobilize greater digital financial inclusion.

View the session here: Digital Financial Inclusion for Women in Africa: A Path to Recovery, Resilience, and Innovation - YouTube 

.................................................................................................................................

KEY TAKE-OUTS FROM THE SESSION

The pandemic has disproportionately affected women and risks further entrenching gender inequalities in economic opportunities.

Women’s economic empowerment will be essential for a global economic recovery. Digital tools provide a critical gateway to a more equal and inclusive economy. For women in middle and low income countries, digital payments, savings and identification can connect them to the digital systems transforming economies.

Countries who have invested in inclusive digital financial systems have seen account ownership by women increase. These benefits for women also impact families and society.

Building resilient and inclusive economies that benefit all people, will require countries to put women front and centre.

Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, the UNSGSA opened the session by highlighting the uneveness of negative impact from the Covid-19 pandemic where women have been disproportionately affected. She underlined the importance of supporting an inclusive economic recovery, particularly in Africa, where 63% of women live and work outside the formal financial system. 

She offered 3 reflections on the role that digital financial services can play to support an inclusive recovery for women

  • investing in digital public goods that support financial inclusion for women is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity
  • we must invest in digital solutions that support resilience and livelihoods that support African women by looking beyond access to basic accounts towards building tools for long-terms buffers, such as savings and insurance
  • digital technology is not itself a panacea as women need proper skills and opportunities to use it meaningfully  

Bruno le Maire, France’s Minister of the Economy, Finance and Recovery outlined the background to the G7 partnership for women’s financial inclusion in Africa (G7P), launched under the French presidency of G7 in 2019, and the immense opportunities there are to unlock digital financial inclusion for women. He outlined the aim to bring together donors and stakeholders to support African authorities in providing greater access to their digital financial systems especially to women.”

He then spoke of how the Covid-19 crisis has exacerbated social and gender inequalities, especially in the access to digital tools, but also revealed how much digitization contributes to the resilience of our economies and accelerated the shift towards the digitization in financial services.

He stressed the importance of collectively investing time and money to unlock digital financial inclusion for vulnerable population, especially women and strongly encouraged African governments and international donors to heavily invest in digital financial inclusion as part of their recovery plans.

In response to the request to discuss an example of promising project in the area of digital financial inclusion for women in Africa implemented this year, he drew attention to the ADFI-supported West Africa Monetary Agency (WAMA) project. This leading project aims at implementing a unique gender-based digital financial inclusion framework in the 15 member states of ECOWAS that could not only give women the opportunity to take part in local digital financial markets but could benefit millions of people across the region.

Melinda French Gates, Co-chair Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation concluded the session by urging for policy to be informed not only by data but by real life situations, but also women's stories of the barriers that hold them back or the issues they face day to day.

.................................................................................................................................

Read more about the G7 Partnership for Women's Digital Financial Inclusion in Africa Launch Report here: https://docs.gatesfoundation.org/Docu...

View the G7 Partnership for Women's Digital Financial Inclusion in Africa 2021 Accountability Report here: https://static1.squarespace.com/stati...

.................................................................................................................................

Pillar Partner websites:

African Development Bank: https://www.afdb.org/en

World Bank: https://www.worldbank.org/en/home

Pathways for Prosperity Commission: https://pathwayscommission.bsg.ox.ac.uk/

J-PAL Africa Digital Identification and Finance: https://www.povertyactionlab.org/africa

UN Capital Development Fund: https://www.uncdf.org/

Official website for Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development: https://www.unsgsa.org/

--- About the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN): The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) was set up in 2012 under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General. SDSN mobilizes global scientific and technological expertise to promote practical solutions for sustainable development, including the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement. SDSN works closely with United Nations agencies, multilateral financing institutions, the private sector, and civil society.

Abonnez-vous à notre Newsletter

Recevez nos dernières actualités grâce à notre Newsletter trimestriel présentant des articles de blog, des interviews, des nouveautés, des mises à jour de projets et des listes d’événements liés à l’inclusion financière numérique en Afrique.