It’s a wrap! The 2018 AFI Global Policy Forum ends on a high note with more than 600 delegates from around the world

Co-hosted by the Bank of Russia (CBR) in the city of Sochi, the 2018 AFI Global Policy Forum (GPF) successfully wrapped up on 7 September, 2018 amidst an intense week of meetings, lively plenary discussions and productive breakout sessions.

Mr. Evgeniy Eberents, Head of the Central Bank in the Southern Region, expressed in his closing remarks that “it is my hope that all decisions taken at the 2018 AFI GPF will carry through into the programs and activities of the AFI network,” and conveyed his delight at welcoming more than 660 delegates from around the world to the city of Sochi, Russia.

“The 10th GPF is a GPF of friendship,” Dr. Hannig said as he expressed his appreciation at the Bank of Russia for their effort and hospitality in organizing an amazing AFI GPF. He added that “the 2018 AFI GPF has been a very professional forum. The AFI network discussed and debated very openly about the gender gap and other issues that are often restricted by social norms — this is what we mean by a policy leadership alliance.”

The 10th AFI GPF revealed three key outcomes: the launch of the Eastern Europe & Central Asia Policy Initiative (ECAPI), the Sochi Accord on FinTech for Financial Inclusion, and Policy Frameworks for the issuance of Financial Inclusion Policy Models.

The Eastern Europe & Central Asia Policy Initiative (ECAPI) was approved and launched by AFI member institutions from the region including Central Bank of Armenia, National Bank of the Republic of Belarus, National Bank of Georgia, Financial Regulatory Commission of Mongolia, Bank of Russia, National Bank of Kazakhstan, National Bank of Tajikistan and Central Bank of Uzbekistan.

“The Eastern Europe & Central Asia Policy Initiative (ECAPI) will drive new Maya Declaration commitments from members, focusing on closing the persistent gender gap and building resilience against the impacts of climate change on financial inclusion,” emphasized Dr. Hannig at the 2018 AFI GPF press conference earlier this week.

At the Annual General Meeting (AGM) earlier this week, the AFI Membership Council unanimously endorsed the Sochi Accord on FinTech for Financial Inclusion, The AFI network’s commitment to developing regulatory or policy interventions that balance innovation in technology-based financial services (FinTech) with oversight. The Sochi Accord will encourage peer learning and progress on FinTech for financial inclusion, including the exchange of tested and transformative solutions to accelerate access and use of financial services. The Sochi Accord will usher in a new era of Maya Declaration commitments and quantified targets that would allow AFI members to harness the potential of FinTech in their countries, and ultimately, improve financial inclusion, strengthen market conduct and consumer protection. 

A recent AFI report provides additional guidance in this emerging area and elaborates the four key pillars of FinTech for financial inclusion in more detail. AFI members are encouraged to review it: FinTech for Financial Inclusion: A Framework for Digital Financial Transformation.

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the AFI Membership Council approved two frameworks for the issuance of Financial Inclusion Policy Models, a major step forward in realizing the vision of AFI as a global policy leadership alliance. Held on 6 September in Sochi, this was the third AGM meeting since AFI became an independent, member-owned network.

The policy framework for innovative cross-border remittances aims to address the cost and efficiency challenges of remittances in Africa. AFI members are encouraged to use this guide to develop or improve their cross-border remittance policies and regulations.

The policy framework for digital financial services interoperability in Africa enhances in-country policy implementation that will expand interoperability among digital financial services providers and other financial services providers to enhance efficiencies, increase customer convenience and scale up both domestic and cross-border payments. 

The closing ceremony of the 2018 AFI GPF concluded with the reveal of the 2019 GPF host, National Bank of Rwanda.


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