AFI 2016 Global Policy Forum Concludes
AFI Adopts Action Plan for Women's Financial Inclusion, Announces 16 New Maya Declaration Commitments as 2016 Global Policy Forum Concludes
The eighth Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) Global Policy Forum (GPF) concluded today in Nadi, Fiji, with the announcement of an increased focus on gender along with new Maya Declaration Commitments from the member institutions of the Alliance. The event took place from 7-9 September 2016, with two days of discussions and activities, and a full day for AFI's Annual General Meeting.
Picking up the inspiring discussions that began at the 2015 GPF, gender and women’s financial inclusion took center stage at the event, culminating in the adoption of the Denarau Action Plan: The AFI Network Commitment to Gender and Women’s Financial Inclusion. This 10-point Action Plan will be overseen by the newly formed AFI Gender and Women’s Financial Inclusion Committee (GWFIC), which will work with key partners and gender focal points from each of the AFI Working Groups. “AFI recognizes the importance of closing the persistent gender gap in access to financial services, and reducing the more than 1 billion women worldwide lacking access to even a basic transaction account,” said Dr. Tukiya Kankasa-Mabula, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Zambia and Chair of the GWFIC.
The AFI Maya Declaration was also a centerpiece of this year’s GPF activities with members of the Alliance making significant commitments to the Maya Declaration. New and revised commitments from 16 AFI institutions were presented, including from: Reserve Bank of Fiji, Central Bank of Egypt, Banque Centrale des Etats de l'Afrique de l'Ouest, Banco Central do Brasil, Bank Negara Malaysia, Banco de Moçambique, Central Bank of the Russian Federation, Bank of Tanzania, Reserve Bank of Vanuatu, Ministère de l'Economie et des Finances de Côte d'Ivoire, Central Bank of Jordan, Central Bank of Suriname, Ministry of Finance Swaziland, Central Bank of Solomon Islands, Bank of Zambia and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
Meeting under the theme, “Building the Pillars of Sustainable Inclusion”, discussions revolved around eight key pillars of sustainable financial inclusion: gender, green financial inclusion, SME finance, de-risking and re-risking, financial inclusion data, technology and innovation, consumer empowerment, and partnerships.
Over the two days, AFI members tackled a comprehensive agenda, focusing on the central role of financial inclusion as a global issue and an enabler of the development objectives of the UN 2030 Agenda, which include the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. “The network renewed its effort to promote financial inclusion in the year ahead to sustain progress in reaching the goal of access to, and usage of, quality financial services for all individuals, households and small businesses,” said Benno Ndulu, Governor of the Bank of Tanzania (BOT) and Chair of the AFI Board.
Reflecting on the theme of the GPF, Executive Director Alfred Hannig said, “The financial inclusion pillars that we have put in place will allow AFI, as an independent organization, to build on our global leadership position and continue to demonstrate the power and impact of smart policies. The discussions and ideas that have taken place over these days will help guide the work of our Alliance over the next 12 months, and will make a long-lasting contribution to creating a fully inclusive world.”
The 2016 GPF closed with the announcement that the Central Bank of Egypt will host the ninth annual GPF in September 2017.
AFI’s eighth Global Policy Forum, the first to be held since AFI became a fully independent international organization, was also the largest ever held, attended by over 500 senior financial inclusion policymakers and regulators and leaders from international organizations and the private sector.