Photo: Deputy Governor Lobna Helal of Central Bank of Egypt, delivers her opening remarks at the FIDWG & GSPWG Meetings in Cairo, Egypt.

Central Bank of Egypt and AFI co-host FID and GSP Working Groups Meetings in Cairo from March 11-14, 2019

Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Lobna Helal and Deputy Executive Director of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) Norbert Mumba inaugurated a series of key working group meetings in Cairo on Monday 11 March. This is the second event co-organized by the two institutions.

Around 100 participants representing AFI member institutions from developing and emerging economies will attend the Financial Inclusion Data (FID) and Global Standards Proportionality (GSP) Working Group Meetings, a four-day event co-hosted by the CBE and AFI.

Highlighting the importance of the meetings, CBE Deputy Governor Helal said: “This forum has proven to be a major milestone for the rapidly evolving financial inclusion agenda in Egypt, such as modernizing the infrastructure, improving regulatory frameworks for the financial sector, launching a number of initiatives to finance small, medium and micro- enterprises (MSMEs). Other recent successes in Egypt include the establishment of the National Council for Payments chaired and the launch of the first national debit card “Meeza”.

Members will use the sessions to discuss financial inclusion reform policy reforms, with specific focus on women’s financial inclusion, in which Egypt has taken important steps by developing a high-quality database and gender-disaggregated data framework. Underscoring these efforts is the appointment of Deputy Governor Helal as AFI’s Vice Chair of the Gender and Women Financial Inclusion Committee for 2019.

The FID working group, co-led by the CBE with other AFI members, will guide discussions to find a common framework that measures financial inclusion. This will include data and indicator definitions, adequate data collection methodologies, objective policy target setting, and data analysis to enable evidence-based financial inclusion policymaking and regulation.

Meanwhile, the GSP working group will provide a platform to analyze the global standards and principles related to financial inclusion and voice the perspectives of AFI policymakers and regulators regarding the global standards setup developed by different Global Standards Setting Bodies. Both working groups are leveraging their knowledge, lessons, and best practices generated from AFI member institutions and practitioners. The Alliance provide its members with a unique peer-learning platform through a bottom-up approach that enables and promotes sustainable and impactful financial inclusion policies and regulations around the world.

“Working Groups represent the heart of AFI. The presence of approximately 100-member representatives here today reflects the importance that you attach to these meetings, which are the center of financial inclusion policy development and leadership globally,” AFI Deputy Executive Mumba said in his keynote speech to delegates.

In recognition of the pivotal role played by the CBE in promoting and supporting financial inclusion at local and international levels, Tarek Amer, Governor of CBE and Vice-Chairman of the AFI Board, will take over as AFI Board Chairman in 2020.

AFI is the world’s leading global knowledge exchange platform in the field of financial inclusion. It was established in 2008 and now it includes 90 developing countries represented in 103 institutions - ministries of finance and central banks. It develops tools used to promote financial inclusion, exchanges technical and practical expertise among AFI members while assisting them in formulating reform policies, strategies and implementation mechanisms. The CBE joined AFI in 2013. Two years ago, the two institutions worked together to co-host 2017 AFI Global Policy Forum.

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GSP & FID Working Group Meetings, Cairo