Maya Declaration: The AFI member commitment to financial inclusion
What is the Maya Declaration?
The Maya Declaration is the first global and measurable set of commitments by developing and emerging country governments to unlock the economic and social potential of the 2.5 billion ‘unbanked’ people through greater financial inclusion. More than 80 such countries – representing more than 75 per cent of the world’s unbanked population – have supported the Declaration. Each country makes measurable commitments in four broad areas that have been proven to increase financial inclusion.
- Create an enabling environment to harness new technology that increases access to and lowers the costs of financial services;
- Implement a proportional framework that advances synergies in financial inclusion, integrity, and stability;
- Integrate consumer protection and empowerment as a key pillar of financial inclusion;
- Utilize data for informed policymaking and tracking results.
Why do we need such a Declaration at this point in time?
There is now widespread recognition that greater financial inclusion is essential for accelerating and sustaining employment, economic growth and financial stability. More critically, recent developments have created the conditions to scale up financial inclusion rapidly.
These developments include: technological innovations such as mobile financial services; a more open regulatory approach to financial inclusion; and a greater understanding of the key ingredients for success, reflected in the G20 Principles for Innovative Financial Inclusion, which underpin the four broad areas covered by the Maya Declaration. In the wake of the financial crisis, there is also recognition that market forces alone will not solve the problem of financial exclusion: government involvement is necessary. This is why government-led consumer protection, for instance, is central to the Declaration.
What reasons are there to believe that Maya Declaration will translate into tangible benefits for the grassroots?
One of the defining characteristics of the Declaration is that it is driven by developing and emerging countries and, above all, recognizes that each country is different, requiring different solutions, not monolithic international solutions. As a result, each country determines its own achievable path and targets.
Moreover, there is a large and well-established global network of specialist financial inclusion agencies able to offer implementation support across the value chain if required. The Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), for example, has been mandated by its member countries to provide a range of dedicated Maya Declaration services, from advocacy and assistance in formulating financial inclusion strategies to helping countries identify the necessary technical partners. New forms of international cooperation with the private sector, civil society and other players will also be explored to inject new thinking for the next generation of innovations.
To provide the visibility needed for public accountability, AFI will regularly report on countries’ progress in achieving their commitments, as well as run a high-profile Maya Declaration campaign.
Following the adoption of the Declaration at the 2011 GPF, 17 AFI members responded with concrete commitments outlining their specific goals and targets. AFI has invited all of its 100+ members in emerging and developing countries to respond to the Declaration and submit their concrete and short-to-medium term commitments to increasing financial inclusion.
AFI provides support to its members in achieving their commitments through access to knowledge from their peers and partners and resources such as grants, and will help monitor their progress over time.
The 2012 Maya Declaration Progress Report: Commitments you can bank on
Maya Declaration Commitment Map