April 2019
From the editor

Dear RFILC members,

Our April newsletter edition we would like to dedicate to the topic of digital financial services. New technologies are radically changing the financial services landscape forcing traditional business models to adapt the way of delivery to marginalized communities. And when financial service providers are rapidly transforming under pressure to innovate – regulators and policymakers are scrambling to keep up. Therefore, we want to bring to your attention the World Bank Group and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) latest publication titled: “Advancing Digital Financial Inclusion in ASEAN: Policy and Regulatory Enablers”. This report is intended to support digital financial services (DFS) policymakers in emerging markets and developing economies and regulators endeavors, by providing a structured approach for the analysis of DFS and financial inclusion. It gives examples of how countries are progressing in pushing further DFS growth, and the type of challenges they are facing. This report could also be a tool for private sector stakeholders when assessing the institutional and regulatory environment to invest in and develop DFS initiatives and provide valuable inputs for their dialogue with the public sector.

The second highlight is the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Mastercard Foundation latest publication titled: “A new banking model for Africa: Lessons on digitization from four years of operations”. This report is a result of fours years-long study with nine partner financial institutions (FIs) in seven Sub-Saharan African countries to understand best practices to scale DFS and expand financial inclusion. The study extracts lessons on DFS strategy and implementation, business models and how institutional culture and change management influence organizations undertaking a DFS journey.  By analyzing the experiences of these FIs over time, the study yields valuable lessons and benchmarks for the industry and helps to differentiate salient DFS issues faced by FIs versus mobile network operators. This report may serve as a guide to support FIs building greenfield operations and existing institutions embarking on their digital transformation.

The third highlight of this month is the Inclusive Digital Future: A Summit on Responsible Finance in Action, which will take place in Nairobi, Kenya from July 25 to July 27, 2019. The event is jointly organized by the Social Performance Task Force and the Smart Campaign, in partnership with MicroSave Consulting and Appui au Développement Autonome (ADA). The event participants will confront the most pressing financial inclusion question of the day: How do we promote inclusion and trust in digital financial services while fostering innovation and growth? The forum will bring together financial service providers, regulators, investors, and DFS experts for two days training, panels, and interactive breakout discussions capped off by a field visit to leading Kenyan institutions engaged in digital transformation.

Finally, we would like to remind you that the 5th Edition of the Boulder Rural and Agricultural Finance Program (RAFP) will take place in Turin, Italy, at the International Training Centre of the International Labour Organisation (ITCILO), from July 22 to August 2, 2019. Developed by CABFIN (a collaborative partnership that includes IFAD, FAO, GIZ, UNCDF, WFP and the World Bank), the program provides highly specialized capacity building on rural and agricultural finance to experienced practitioners and institutions. The two week-immersion program offers a range of 8 elective courses to choose from, for a total 70 academic course hours. The programme will be delivered by the Boulder Faculty, a diverse group of internationally-recognized agrifinance experts, whose coursework will encompass a broad range of topics and viewpoints related to rural and agricultural finance.sector’s pressing issues, using new tools and a fresh perspective.

With best regards,
The RFILC editorial team

We hope you enjoy your visit to the RFILC.


The Rural Finance and Investment Learning Centre is a part of the CABFIN Partnership Project which aims to promote and facilitate capacity building in rural finance. The concerns of rural finance are to ensure that people living in rural areas have access to financial services such as deposit and money transfer facilities, insurance and loan products. Effective use of these services can help to improve livelihoods and reduce rural poverty. The following CABFIN Partners have provided financial support to the RFILC: