Caroline Abel, Governor of the Central Bank of Seychelles and Chairperson of AfPI

29 June 2023

(AfPI) and 8th Pacific Islands Regional Initiative (PIRI) Leaders’ Roundtable — Opening Remarks by Governor Caroline Abel, Central Bank of Seychelles 

Secretary of State for Finance, National Planning and Trade, Mr Patrick Payet,
Executive Director, Alliance for Financial Inclusion, Dr Alfred Hannig,
Governor of the Central Bank of Samoa and Chairperson of the Pacific Islands Regional Initiative, Ms Maiava Atalina Ainuu-Enari,
Governors and Deputy Governors of AFPI and PIRI Central Banks,
Members of the AFI Management Unit,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good morning.

It is an honour to welcome you to Seychelles for the 12th AfPI and 8th PIRI Leaders Roundtable meetings, the first convergence meeting of these two groupings.
Our geography should not limit our associations. In fact, the inclusion agenda compels us to find ways to expand beyond our traditional horizons and find innovative ways to build meaningful connections. The dual membership of Seychelles in the African and Pacific regional groupings, thanks to our African heritage and island specificities makes us an ideal point of convergence and we are grateful to AFI for recognising this trait and for facilitating the gathering of our two groups.

Those of you who have had the chance to experience the sights and sounds of Mahé will identify with the tropical vibes so similar to our island colleagues and the African elements that come through our cuisine and music, entwined in our traditions. These facets have created a unique people and culture that allow us to bridge the differences and find similarities across PIRI and AfPI. It is hoped that the networks that you build while experiencing what Seychelles has to offer, will uncover many opportunities for collaborative growth.

As we deal with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and navigate the various economic challenges resulting from other emerging global uncertainties, such as the Russia-Ukraine conflict, our aim for this meeting is for us, as financial inclusion leaders, to focus on how we prepare to respond to future eventualities in a proactive manner. The theme for the meetings, “Rising above global uncertainty – pathways through inclusive innovation” is therefore very fitting, given the current climate in which we are compelled to operate, as it prompts us to reflect on innovative policies that will not only help us navigate uncertainties, but also, to highlight the importance of continuity.

Despite the geographic differences between our two regions, we share similar concerns and challenges. Disruptions to supply chains; inflation; climate change adaptation and adoption of green financing; economic slowdown due to the pandemic; the need to enhance consumer protection; I could continue with the list, to which I know as leaders, we can all relate. However, the theme for this meeting calls upon us to be active participants and propose tangible solutions that will build the resilience of our economies.
With so much uniting us, I am confident that our shared values and aspirations will lead to fruitful discussions that will translate into innovative policies that will enhance the financial inclusion of our citizens.

Thank you.

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