23 October 2023

Keeping financial inclusion high on the global agenda: AFI in action at the World Bank/IMF meetings 

At the World Bank/International Monetary Fund Annual Meetings in Morocco from 9 to 15 October, AFI network leaders and partners raised their voices to ensure that financial inclusion remains high on the policy agenda for governments and central banks, despite challenging global conditions. 

Speaking at a flagship IMF Seminar on 14 October, AFI Executive Director Alfred Hannig emphasized the complementarity between financial inclusion and financial stability, drawing attention to AFI member achievements globally and in the Arab region. 

Earlier, AFI and the Intergovernmental Group of 24 (G-24), the body which coordinates developing countries’ positions on monetary and development issues, co-organized a joint Leaders’ Roundtable on the evolving mandates of central banks and other financial regulators, revealing how financial inclusion contributes to policy objectives in a range of areas from the development of inclusive innovation through to the advancement of social and environmental goals.  

Jameel Ahmed, Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, highlighted the impact of Pakistan’s instant payment system to extend access to digital payments. Douglas Rodriguez, President of El Salvador’s Central Reserve Bank, elaborated on the central bank’s role in promoting gender equity, while Tatafu Moeaki, Governor of the National Reserve Bank of Tonga, stressed that central banks are in a unique position to influence national stewardship in regard to climate change. Caroline Abel, Governor of the Central Bank of Seychelles, set out her view that Central Banks can act on social and environmental issues within their core mandates and existing policy toolkits.

While in Marrakech, Dr Hannig participated in a specially convened Roundtable on Women’s Leadership in Central Banks, co-hosted by Governor Abdellatif Jouahri of the Bank Al-Maghrib, and Governor Pablo Hernandez de Cos of the Banco de Espana, which underscored the call to strengthen the gender balance in management positions of central banks.  

He also met with Central Bank Governors from the AFI network and beyondand with leaders from the IMF and World Food Program, to discuss current challenges and collaboration opportunities in financial inclusion.  

AFI also discussed opportunities to accelerate progress with its partners, including the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Mastercard, Visa, Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, and the International Development Research Centre. 

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