Remarks by Governor Jean Baden Dubois of Banque de la République d’Haïti (BRH) and chair of AFI’s Financial Inclusion Initiative for Latin America and the Caribbean (FILAC)
25 January, 2023, San Jose, Costa Rica
It is an honor and a privilege to be invited to participate in this special opening ceremony and, I am delighted to be here today. I wish to express my gratitude to the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) for the invitation and especially to the Latin America and Caribbean office which lends its full support in making this event a success.
I salute the presence of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs who was be able to joins us, to launch, this important project, aiming to support AFI Members in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region to achieve FILAC objectives to promote financial inclusion, sustainable growth and poverty reduction.
Reviewing my notes taken during the Global Forum held on last September, I realized, it has been exactly 4 months since we met, in Asia, particularly in Jordan, to talk about challenges faced by AFI members struggling to recover from the Covid-19 Pandemic. Discussions were focused on a range of topics such as contemporary financial regulations, monetary and financial stability objectives, financial inclusion and wealth, sustainable economic recovery, rebuilding and growth. We came out with resolutions to further increase financial inclusion around the world where nearly 1/3 (one third) of the world’s adult population remains unbanked.
According to the 2021 Global Findex Survey published by the World Bank, in the LAC region, 73% of adults had a bank account, 40% made digital transaction to pay a merchant, considering that 14 % did their first experience during the pandemic of COVID 19. The survey had concluded, despite the share of adults who have a bank account rose at 18%, in 2021, 6 (six) out 10 (ten) people of those who remain unbanked, believe that financial services are too expensive for them while 32 % noticed the lack of nearby financial institution offices as the main raison for not having a bank account. Let’s believe that digital financial services has the potential to drive new and great strides in the Latin America and Caribbean financial inclusion process and reduce the gap!
Ladies and Gentleman,
Through the Financial Initiative in Latin America and the Caribbean (FILAC), we form a strong network of actors to promote the sharing and publicity of financial inclusion experience and information. We strive all to strengthen the protection of financial consumer rights and interests, enhance the public’s financial literacy and sustainable financial resilience for our fellow citizens. We pursue a common vision which is financial well-being of our respective population, fair economic growth and sustainable development.
During our previous Regional Leaders Roundtable meeting, we have jointly made commitments to carry forward work on gender inclusive finance, inclusive green Finance, financial inclusion of migrants, digital services to enhance MSME development, national financial inclusion strategy and financial literacy programs.
As we all have the same goal, I believe that our different working groups supported by AFI can continue to facilitate the formulation of standards for financial inclusion, promote consensus on financial inclusion and bring out appropriate solutions to those financial inclusion’s challenges. Our aim is to promote experiences sharing among members where our executives can learn through seminars, webinars, training kits and policies developed by AFI.
In Haiti, AFI’s assistance has been beneficial to us on many levels. Through the capacity building activities provided by AFI, the capacity of our team dedicated to financial inclusion has been well strengthened in several respects. Recently, the work done by AFI had helped to deepen the cooperation between the Haitian government, the financial industry, universities and research institutes in the field of financial inclusion. From this experience AFI has assist Haitian stakeholders to come together and merge their energy in order to reach the goal to develop the National Plan of Financial Education (PNEF, Haiti 2020-2025). Thanks to AFI and every other member that was solicited at that time allowing us to achieve this important milestone!
Cooperation is well known as one of the nine principles that sustain our worldwide financial inclusion strategies. Today, we are delighted to be here to celebrate a new cooperation with the Department of International Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of Luxembourg. We believe that this new collaboration will allow more households and more entrepreneurs to have access to more financial means, for the development of sustainable economic projects in the FILAC region!
May the Launch of the project between the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and AFI contribute to advance financial inclusion in the Latin America and the Caribbean Region in the coming years.
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