Banking in sub-Saharan Africa – Interim Report on Digital Financial Inclusion

This report summarizes the discussions held in the context of the Roundtable on Digital Financial Inclusion in Africa during the 2017 EIB Africa Day, which was co-organized in Berlin on July 6th, 2017 by the EIB, Afrika-Verein der Deutschen Wirtschaft and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. It aims at providing an interim thematic update in between two editions of the EIB’s Study of Banking Sectors in sub-Saharan Africa. The EIB roundtable on Digital Financial inclusion in SSA addressed how to engage the bottom of the pyramid, including female entrepreneurs and MSMEs. There is a need to strike the right balance between leveraging opportunities and managing risks. Issues of trust, financial capability, regulation, compliance and inter-operability loom large. The role that FinTechs and banks can play in inclusive finance crucially depends on the features of the market in which they operate. Reaching the bottom of the pyramid requires client-centred innovation and the design of products targeting minorities and vulnerable segments of society, including older and disabled people and recognising gender as an additional layer of inequality.

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