Hosted by the Government of Chad government in collaboration with the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, Damien Magnon, Digital Financial Services Specialist with the Africa Digital Financial Inclusion Facility (ADFI) was delighted to participate as a partner in the official launch of the Microfinance Development Support Project for Women and Youth Entrepreneurship, held on 12 September in N'Djamena, Chad.
Approved in December 2021, this initiative is led by the Agriculture, Human, and Social Development Complex (AHHD), with co-financing of $650,000 by the Africa Digital Financial Inclusion Facility (ADFI), together with co-funding of $12.8 million from the African Development Bank’s Transition Facility Fund and of $650,000 from the Bank’s Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA).
The funding support from all partners together with technical assistance from ADFI and oversight from AHHD and AFAWA, aims to support increased financial inclusion and job creation opportunities by not only building the capacity of microfinance institutions to develop new digital financial services for excluded women and youth, but also through the first FinScope study to assess the supply and demand of financial services in Chad.
With growing unemployment, financial inclusion standing at just 24% of the adult Chadian population (Global Findex) and only 5% of women having a bank account that they manage by themselves (INSEED-TCHAD | ACCUEIL), the need to promote the entrepreneurial dynamism of these vulnerable populations through innovative financial mechanisms is clear.
For rural areas, there is a huge potential for financial inclusion, especially with the considerable development of digital financial services in recent years and the consequent growth in rural e-money services. However, the range of services is limited and the penetration of digital financial services is still very low (3%) in Chad, and most of the rural poor rely on informal financial services, consisting mainly of transfers made through travel agencies or informal community lending.
Mamady Souare, representative for the African Development Bank, stressed the importance of this initiative which will help to promote women's economic empowerment and youth entrepreneurship in the country's rural areas through systemic support to the microfinance sector and the entrepreneurial ecosystem by facilitating access of vulnerable groups to innovative and secured financial and non-financial services through digital transformation.
Adeguelaye Damaris Nodjigoto, Secretary General of the Ministry of Vocational Training, Trades and Microfinance stated that this initiative supports both the National Development Plan (NDP) and will help to meet Chad's needs and Vision 2030 in terms of economic development and the employability of young people and women.