A G7 Partnership for Women’s Digital Financial Inclusion in Africa
African governments are at the forefront of efforts to harness digital technologies to build more inclusive economies. Double-digit growth in mobile phone ownership in the first half of this decade has triggered a surge of innovative digital tools and services across the continent. However, the benefits of the digital age are not being shared equally. Women—especially those living in poor and marginalized communities—are most likely to be on the wrong side of a persistent digital divide.
This report is a blueprint for closing that gap of 400 million and creating a world that is both more prosperous and more equal for everyone. It draws on the lessons Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has learned about financial services for the poor since it started investing in the area about 15 years ago. It identifies five key ways in which G7 countries can support African countries as their leaders seek to include more than 400 million people in the digital economy for the first time.
- Build an interoperable digital payment infrastructure so that you can transact with anyone else, even if you have different service providers.
- Build equitable digital identification systems that cover each and every individual on the continent, giving all people the formal proof of identity they need to open and use financial accounts.
- Update financial regulations to make space for digital products and services while keeping the financial system secure.
- Help countries identify investments and policies that enable them to maximize the social and economic returns from digital technologies and infrastructure while minimizing potential harms.
- Research the best ways to design digital financial systems and deliver digital financial services to maximize gender equality.