AFI Deputy Executive Director chats with Côte d'Ivoire Minister of Finance and Economy Adama Coulibaly

Côte d'Ivoire FinMin discusses green, youth & gender with AFI DED

Emerging topics in financial inclusion were top of the agenda when Côte d'Ivoire Minister of Finance and Economy Adama Coulibaly met AFI Deputy Executive Director Norbert Mumba in Abidjan on 4 November.

The pair discussed inclusive green finance, youth financial inclusion and gender, as well as ways in which AFI could strengthen its support and collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and Economy, particularly in implementing the government’s 2019-2024 National Financial Inclusion Strategy (SNIF). This included potential sensitization workshops with local stakeholders to promote greater awareness of financial inclusion.

Launched in May, the strategy aims to achieve a national financial inclusion rate of 60 percent by 2024, up from 42 percent recorded by Global FinDex in 2017. The SNIF is in line with the Regional Strategy for Financial Inclusion of long-term AFI member Banque Centrale des Etats de l'Afrique de l'Ouest (BCEAO).

Minister Coulibaly expressed concerns that Côte d'Ivoire had not adapted well to climate change and encouraged AFI’s work in the field. Minister also noted that youth -- an important group both globally and for the country --, constitutes two-thirds of Côte d'Ivoire's population and is a topic of importance for further deliberation. In addition, he expressed support for AFI’s activities in gender inclusive finance, adding that more work must be done in this area. Minister Coulibaly shared local examples of local women groups as dynamic entrepreneurs, explaining that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) owned by women are often more active and successful compared to men-owned SMEs.

The Ivorian ministry, a principal member of the network since August 2009, hosts AFI’s regional office in Africa. In February, more than 70 representatives from AFI member institutions across Africa, including former Minister Adama Kone, attended the office’s opening ceremony.

A few days ahead of his meeting with Minister Coulibaly, AFI’s Mumba moderated a session on regulatory and supervisory approaches to financial technology (FinTech) at the Dakar FinTech Conference, which was co-hosted by World Bank and BCEAO, a distinguished member of the Alliance and also a host of AFI’s Regional Africa Office. During the session, he presented AFI’s framework for FinTech for financial inclusion, which emphasizes the need for an enabling regulatory environment.

BCEAO governor Tiémoko Meyliet Koné delivered the conference’s opening remarks where he thanked AFI for its role in helping more than double the rate of financial inclusion across the Union to 57.1 percent in 2018 from 26 percent in 2010. Over the next five years, he added that BCEAO plans to lift this figure to 75 percent.

Over 150 regulators, private sector players and development organizations attended the event, including governors from Banque Centrale de Mauritanie, Central Bank of The Gambia, Bank of Sierra Leone and BCEAO, all of which are members of AFI.