Maya Declaration continues to evolve with financial inclusion commitments from 66 countries

What do 70 financial institutions from developing and emerging countries, representing over 57 percent of the world’s unbanked population, have in common? They have all endorsed the Maya Declaration, the Alliance for Financial Inclusion's (AFI) initiative to encourage national commitments to financial inclusion. A public commitment to the Maya Declaration is a means to champion financial inclusion, contributing to the range of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but specifically focusing on Goal 1 — No Poverty.

Since it’s inception in 2011, the Maya Declaration has evolved, gaining strong growth in institutional commitments and a sharp increase in quantified targets. As of October 2017, 66 countries have committed to the Maya Declaration including new targets from selected member institutions. For example:

  • National Bank of Cambodia pledged to reduce the financial exclusion rate of women from 27% to 13% by 2025.
  • Banco Central de São Tomé e Príncipe will develop the National Financial Inclusion Strategy in 2018.
  • Central Bank of Lesotho committed to develop and implement a financial consumer protection framework, focusing on women, by December 2018.
  • Central Bank of Seychelles pledged to regulate mobile financial service and promote cross-border remittances through mobile payments by December 2018.
  • Bank of Zambia committed to reduce the gender gap for formal financial services inclusion from 10% to 5% by 2022.

Maya Declaration has paved the way for various accords over the years. Each accord emphasizes a specific aspect of financial inclusion, corresponding to the present needs of financial regulators and policymakers against the outlook of the financial sector.

Sasana Accord: Evidence-Based Financial Inclusion

Launched during the 2013 AFI Global Policy Forum (GPF) in Kuala Lumpur, the Sasana Accord dictates that financial inclusion policy and strategies will see evidence and data-based results — and contribute to accelerated progress and the measurement of its impact. This makes evidence-based financial inclusion policy a priority by collecting and analyzing comprehensive data, tracking the changing profile of financial inclusion, and producing comparable indicators in the network.

Maputo Accord: SME Financing

The Maputo Accord is a natural follow-up from Turkey’s G20 Presidency, which has made support for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) a key theme. Launched during the 2015 AFI GPF in Maputo, the Accord supports access to finance for SMEs in acknowledgement of their shared objective with financial inclusion — to promote sustainable and inclusive development, as well as spurring innovation.

Denarau Action Plan: Gender and Women’s Financial Inclusion

Launched during the 2016 AFI GPF in Nadi, the Denarau Action Plan draws focus on gender and women’s financial inclusion, contributing to women’s economic empowerment and the SDGs, specifically Goal 5 — Gender Equality. The Denarau Action Plan identifies measures AFI members can take to increase the number of women with access to quality and affordable financial services globally and close the financial inclusion gender gap.

This year saw a significant increase in commitments to women’s financial inclusion, coming up to 27 institutional commitments (40 percent of committed members). Visit the AFI Data Portal for more information.

Sharm El Sheikh Accord: Financial Inclusion, Climate Change and Green Finance

Developing and emerging countries feel the effects of climate change the most; climate change increases financial exclusion, and is among the greatest barriers to financial stability and poverty alleviation.

Financial policymakers and regulators in the AFI network are central to ensuring financial stability in their countries. They recognize the dual threats of financial exclusion and climate change as key barriers to financial stability. As a result, the Sharm El Sheikh Accord was launched during the 2017 AFI GPF in Sharm El Sheikh, endorsed by an overwhelming 94 percent of the AFI network. Quantified targets on financial inclusion, climate change and green finance are globally contributing to SDG 13 – Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

Read the 2017 Maya Declaration Progress Report to learn more about the distribution of mobile account ownership, the top three thematic areas covered by commitments, and more.