4 August 2016
Having achieved independence in 2016, AFI is now looking to strengthen the ties of its network through the creation of regional offices. With more than 100 regulatory and policymaking institutions from over 90 nations, the AFI network currently has representation in every region of the globe. While the benefits of global peer exchanges on financial inclusion policy issues have been undeniable, there has also been an increasing demand for regional exchanges where members with similar demographics, geological challenges and infrastructure levels can work more closely on common issues.
Members of the AFI network have already launched two regional initiatives: The African Mobile Phone Financial Services Policy Initiative (AMPI), which was formed to accelerate the adoption of DFS across the African continent and; The Pacific Islands Regional Initiative, formed to enable the Pacific Island regulators to work more closely on financial inclusion issues. AFI members in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Latin America & the Caribbean (LAC) and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (ECA) have all expressed strong interest in creating new regional initiatives, with LAC members expected to make an announcement at the upcoming AFI Global Policy Forum.
An increasing demand for regional focus also brings an expectation of regional support and AFI is responding to these expectations with the request this month for member proposals on hosting AFI offices in MENA/SSA and LAC. Requests for proposals were sent to AFI members from these regions to gage the interest and practicality of hosting an AFI regional office.
After an internal review process, the final locations for these new offices is expected to be announced in 2017.