An aerial view of Dakar, Senegal

Green finance, regional sandbox & FinTech discussed with BCEAO

Banque Centrale des États de l'Afrique de l'Ouest (BCEAO) Governor Tiémoko Meyliet Koné expressed interest in AFI’s inclusive green finance workstream, adding that some northern and coastal areas in its member-bloc were highly vulnerable to climate change.

In a meeting with AFI Deputy Executive Director Norbert Mumba on 31 October, Koné noted that green finance could potentially provide an avenue to address the climate-related challenges facing its members.

BCEAO acts as a central bank to eight West African countries – Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo –, including some of the world’s most vulnerable to climate change.

Underscoring the AFI network’s role in defining the global financial inclusion agenda, Koné said that BCEAO wanted to better understand the development of regulatory sandboxes. AFI staff are currently on a roadshow across the Pacific where they are working with central banks in the region to help implement the world’s first regional regulatory sandbox.

The central bank governor also expressed support for financial technology (FinTech) regulation and coordination, reinforcing AFI’s value by outlining BCEAO’s intention to reach out and learn from the network on Fintech development. AFI’s peer learning support, he added, will also be needed during an upcoming forum on interoperability, an area that Koné said was a priority for BCEAO.

Plans for future collaboration were mutual with BCEAO expressing readiness to co-host AFI events in West Africa in 2020.

BCEAO has been an active member of the network since joining as a principal member in 2011. For example, it took part in six separate capacity building events last year and currently co-hosts AFI’s Africa Regional Office in Abidjan along with Côte d'Ivoire’s Ministère de l'Economie et des Finances.

Also attending the meeting with were General Manager of Market Operations and Payment Systems Bwaki Kwassi, Head of the Payment System Modernisation Services Gisèle Catherine Keny Ndoye and Special Advisor to the Governor Oumar Tatam Ly – all from BCEAO –, as well as Meor Muhammad Naqib, Executive Assistant to AFI’s Mumba.