Ensuring the sustainability of financial inclusion requires the creation of a wide range of financial products and services to encourage customers to make climate friendly choices, build their resilience to the impacts of climate change and facilitate the transition to a low-carbon future. Panelists at AFI’s public-private dialogue (PPD) focused on how to leverage digital financial services (DFS) for inclusive green finance (IGF).
IGF is taking shape in a number of countries and action on green finance is increasingly perceived as a part of the mandate of central banks. At the same time, strides are also being made at the private sector side with regards to mitigation and resilience building financial services and products. This is why this PPD is appropriate and timely.
AFI’s Director of Strategy and Financial Inclusion Policy Kennedy Komba pointed out the vital role of policymakers in mobilizing resources for climate action and ensuring financial and economic stability.
“Digital finance enabled far-flung communities to access electricity through solar energy as well as other technologies such as solar cookstoves,” said Komba, adding that digital technologies are also making insurance available to the most vulnerable groups which provide some sort of safety net for recovery, especially in these changing times.
The dialogue also emphasized the role of national strategies and digital literacy programs while pointing out that improved access to funding for specific initiatives from the private sector could have a multiplying effect on financial inclusion on the ground.
Panelists for the event included Jorge Moncoya, Intendente General Tecnico for Superintendencia de Economia Popular y Solidaria (SEPS) Ecuador, Cyril Benoiton, Financial Surveillance Analyst for the Central Bank of Seychelles, Khondkar Morshed Millat, General Manager for the Sustainable Finance Department for Bangladesh Bank, Serena Make, Deputy Head of Funding Asia for Home Credit Group, and Isaac Kibere, Senior Legal Counsel for Safaricom PLC.
Integrating DFS into financial inclusion policies is important in order to reach “the last mile” of vulnerable communities, especially in climate-related disaster events. AFI’s Head of Inclusive Finance, Johanna Nyman welcomed discussions on the intersect between DFS and IGF, especially given work that are already being done by the private sector on the ground on building resilience and mitigating the negative impacts of climate change.
The PPD event is a prelude to a special report on IGF and DFS, currently being developed by AFI’s inclusive green finance working group (IGFWG) and digital financial services working group (DFSWG). The event is also a first PPD for AFI’s IGF workstream.
The event, held on 21 November 2021 and attended by over 70 participants from 38 AFI member institutions, is the first PPD organized in collaboration with the IGF workstream.
AFI’s PPD platform is a unique opportunity for AFI members to share practical insight and best practices among their peers, offering the chance to reflect on public and private interventions that can advance financial inclusion.
AFI’s IGF workstream is part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI), which is supported by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), based on a decision of the German Bundestag.