A Sense of Inclusion. An Ethnographic Study of the Perceptions and Attitudes to Digital Financial Services in Sub-Saharan Africa.

This study aims to understand what digital financial inclusion means in different African contexts in relation to historical, cultural and social factors. It is a comparative ethnographic exploration of the usage, perceptions and attitudes towards digital financial services in Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal and Zambia that ultimately aims to give a voice to both DFS users and non-users to provide insights for financial inclusion. It focused primarily on four key research questions: What is the contextual infrastructure of digital financial services in Sub-Saharan Africa? How is the meaning of money changing due to digitization? What are the factors informing people’s perceptions and attitudes towards DFS? What is the impact of DFS on financial inclusion, beyond the numbers that measure access to formal financial accounts? Ethnographic research is qualitative rather than quantitative in nature, and the findings of this study are based on field observations, interviews, focus group discussions and archive research carried out by the research teams in all four countries.

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