Determinants of Financial Inclusion in West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) Countries
This paper analyzes the determinants of financial inclusion and proposes an instrument of measuring financial inclusion in West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) countries. WAEMU countries do not have a reliable synthetic index to measure their financial inclusion level. The need for an accurate way to assess financial inclusion in the WAEMU zone is imperative because a set of indicators has been adopted within the Regional Financial Inclusion Strategy by the Central Bank of West African States (CBWAS).
In the panel regressions reveal that real GDP, mobile phone penetration, and literacy rate have a positive effect on financial inclusion. Conversely, the weight of the rural population and interbank credit is negatively associated with the level of financial inclusion. Agricultural financing via the credit channel that banks grant to the government is likely to increase financial inclusion. The paper also finds a positive impact of rural-oriented literacy on financial inclusion.