FIARI holds its first capacity building program in the Arab Region
Alliance for Financial inclusion (AFI), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) and the Arab Monetary Fund (AMF) organized a capacity development program, “Preparing for Financial Inclusion Strategy Implementation” on 5 December 2018 in Amman, Jordan. The program is held under the Royal Patronage of His Majesty King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein, supported by the Financial Inclusion in the Arab Region Initiative (FIARI).
The program was attended by 43 participants and 20 financial institutions, from 16 countries. Participants include technical level staff from AFI/AMF member institutions and GIZ partner institutions (central banks and ministries of finance) in the Arab Region who are closely involved in the development and implementation of National Financial Inclusion Strategies (NFIS).
“It’s important that we have a clear and structured coordination mechanism amongst all stakeholders for financial inclusion,” said Mahmoud Montassar Mansour, Authority of Control of Microfinance, Tunisia.
Leveraging on AFI’s unique peer learning model, participants were able to learn from the expertise of AFI member institutions from beyond the region such as Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia — specifically Bank of Uganda (who recently launched its NFIS) and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, who both shared their country experiences in implementing their respective NFIS. The imperative to use a participatory, multi-stakeholder approach in preparing for NFIS implementation was highlighted throughout the training.
“Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas cannot advance financial inclusion alone, we need to work closely with other agencies and sectors,” emphasized Jenny A. Romero, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
Following the training, participants gained insights into how to contribute to establishing an effective governance and national coordination structure that successfully galvanizes multi-stakeholder collaboration for the formulation and implementation of (NFIS). Their analytical skills have been strengthened to help them develop Financial Inclusion Data Frameworks (FIDF) as well as Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Frameworks to collect, analyze, and use data in preparation for NFIS implementation.
In addition, participants enhanced their understanding of the role of digital financial services (DFS) and FinTech in advancing financial inclusion and how to leverage them. They also learnt approaches to ensure NFIS meets the needs of the whole population, including women, forcibly displaced persons (FDPs) and the youth.
FIARI aims to help accelerate conducive policies and actions for enhancing Arab societies’ access to financial service through an effective coordination mechanism by supporting the implementation of national financial inclusion policies. The regional initiative is using financial inclusion as a driving force for sustainable economic and social development, aligned with the range of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Six AFI members from the Arab Region are currently part of FIARI with more expected to join during its implementation. Besides Central Bank of Jordan, these members include Central Bank of Egypt, Central Bank of Mauritania, Banque Al-Maghrib, Palestine Monetary Authority, Central Bank of Sudan, Central Bank of Syria, Ministère des Finances de la République de Tunisie and Central Bank of Yemen.