Alliance for Financial Inclusion's 2014 Global Policy Forum Concludes With New Achievements, New Commitments and a New Vision for the Network's Future


av0_8021_0_0.jpgPORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO--The Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) 6th Annual Global Policy Forum (GPF) concluded with six member institutions announcing new commitments to financial inclusion under the AFI Maya Declaration. Commitments were received from the People's Bank of China, Comisión Nacional de Bancos y Seguros Honduras, Central Bank of Russia, National Bank of Tajikistan, Banco Central de Timor Leste, and Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan. Altogether, there are now 53 AFI institutions with commitments under the Maya Declaration.

These commitments capped three days of meetings that witnessed several momentous financial inclusion announcements. The Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (CBTT), a co-host of this year's GPF, set the tone by announcing the Financial Inclusion Development Agency and the launch of formal knowledge sharing agreements with Guyana and Suriname. With these efforts CBTT fully achieved its Maya Declaration commitments during its inaugural year as an AFI member--a first for an institution in the Network.

Under the overarching theme of "Global Partnerships, National Goals, Empowering People" the AFI GPF featured sessions covering all aspects of financial inclusion policy. There was increased focus on strengthening the AFI Network's peer learning approach with the global standard setting bodies, as well as facilitating dialogue with the private sector to collaboratively advance financial inclusion. The Forum also deepened AFI's regional engagement approach. Policymakers made further progress towards a Latin American initiative and solidified the African Mobile Phone Financial Services Policy Initiative with the launch of a quarterly newsletter for all AMPI members. The Pacific Islands Regional Initiative was created, and the potential for a similar arrangement within the Caribbean was discussed. The sessions were marked by lively debate and dialogue, an exchange of innovative ideas and renewed dedication from all AFI members to the cause of financial inclusion.

AFI moved further along its road to independence with the announcement of Malaysia as the organization's new host country. Great progress was made on discussions regarding the governance and structure of an independent AFI, which is expected to become a formal international organization within the next year.

"This is a landmark year for our Network," said Alfred Hannig, AFI's Executive Director. "The independence of AFI is a sign of our members' strength, but just as importantly, it shows how financial inclusion has become a permanent fixture of international development efforts."

The 2014 GPF was the largest Forum ever held by the AFI Network, with more than 400 delegates and partners from 75 nations making the trip to the twin-island state. The AFI GPF will make a return to Africa in 2015 with Banco de Moçambique playing host for next year's event.


Peter Foster

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