Nearly 50 countries to attend FIS and SME Finance working group meetings in Zambia
The Bank of Zambia (BoZ) and the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) will host four days of working group meetings aimed at advancing financial inclusion issues and addressing the challenges faced by marginalised groups, such as women and youth, in accessing quality formal financial services.
Nearly 90 members from 46 countries are expected to attend the Financial Inclusion Strategy Peer Learning Group (FISPLG) and Small and Medium Enterprise Financial Working Group (SMEFWG) meetings in the Zambian city of Livingstone to discuss topics such as shadow economies, rural financing and climate risk insurance. Among the expected deliverables will be updates on the gender work stream and presentations from working group subgroups.
Working groups provide crucial platforms for AFI members to learn from their peers in developing and emerging countries in order to meet financial inclusion goals at the local and national level. The topics discussed will be carried forward to AFI’s flagship Global Policy Forum, which will be held in Rwanda under the theme of “Using Technology for Inclusion of Women and Youth”.
BoZ Governor Denny Kalyalya and AFI Deputy Executive Director Norbert Mumba will jointly open the meetings in Livingstone, which will run from 1-4 April, followed by a series of introductions and presentations on Zambia’s journey in financial inclusion.
Since joining the network in 2010, the BoZ has made a series of commitments to the Maya Declaration, including halving the financial inclusion gender gap to 5 percent by 2022 from 10 percent in 2015. Furthering this, the central bank championed the creation of a comprehensive national sex-disaggregated data framework to better understand women’s access to and use of financial services.
On the final day of meetings, participants will be taken on a field visit to a local cottage industry where they will have the chance to study the workings of micro, small and medium enterprises.
This activity was funded through AFI’s Multi-Donor Financial Inclusion Policy Implementation Facility (MD-PIF), comprising the French Development Agency (AFD), the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Ministry of Finance of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
About FIS Peer Learning Group
The FIS Peer Learning Group (FISPLG) supports countries developing and implementing financial inclusion strategies by promoting a unified vision and shared goals among public and private stakeholders. FISPLG facilitates peer reviews of draft strategies and action plans, develops joint guidance on national strategies and supports the capacity of members to develop and implement financial inclusion strategies, including by connecting them with expert stakeholders.
About SMEF Working Group
The SMEF Working Group (SMEFWG) is a forum for policymakers to discuss, innovate and create smart policies that help small and medium enterprises (SME) access finance and formal financial services. Created in 2013, the SMEFWG focuses on conducting internal surveys and developing knowledge products that measure SME access to finance. Its outcomes shed light on different policies solutions and lessons learned from the national implementation of direct interventions and programs.
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