AFI Executive Director Dr. Alfred Hannig delivers opening remarks at the webinar on “Conducting Demand-side Surveys – The Case of Kenya’s FinAccess Survey 2021 in the COVID-19 era

1 March 2022

CBK-AFI Webinar on Kenya’s FinAccess Survey 2021 – Opening remarks by AFI Executive Director Dr. Alfred Hannig

Salutations

  • Dr. NJOROGE, Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya
  • Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.

KARIBU WAPENDA – WELCOME distinguished friends from Kenya and the AFI Network to this webinar. Allow me to congratulate the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) and its partners the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) and FSD Kenya on the successful completion of the 2021 FinAccess Survey. Kenya continues to be at the forefront of fostering financial inclusion.

Introduction

The Central Bank of Kenya has been highly engaged member in the AFI network. CBK hosted the first Global Policy Forum in Nairobi, back in 2009 founding the success of our Network. The CBK, Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority in Kenya and the Retirement Benefits Authority of Kenya, all AFI members, have made great strides in achieving a broad range of financial inclusion goals.  

Since the launch of the Maya Declaration Commitments on financial inclusion in 2011, CBK has made 8 Maya Declaration Targets (one of which is being fulfilled through the 2021 FinAccess Survey).

We look back to a very fruitful mutual exchange with CBK, and in view of the current challenges because of the pandemic, we see more to come to preserve our achievements in the Financial Inclusion space and to take leadership in mitigating the impact of the health crisis which in many places has turned into an economic crisis.

Demand Side Survey

Demand-side surveys are a critical instrument to measure the status of financial inclusion, to set a baseline for policymakers setting-up a national strategy, and to measure progress in access, usage, and quality of financial services following policy interventions.

Members in the AFI network have been using these surveys to guide them when formulating evidence-based policies. More than a half of AFI member institutions have launched or have promoted the launch of financial inclusion demand-side surveys.

Data is significant when it comes to informing policy, which is the reason why so many members have embarked on data initiatives of this kind. But not only that, we have noticed that members that have set measurable targets have performed better at achieving their financial inclusion objectives compared to members that have not put in place data frameworks.

The 2021 Kenya FinAccess Survey has borne witness to the transformation of Kenya’s financial inclusion landscape and its increasing formalization underpinned by the adoption of digital technology. The survey also highlighted the continued use of informal financial services alongside formal ones and providing data on informal businesses, which are a major source of livelihood for many Kenyans, in addition to agriculture. It is also the first survey to include financial inclusion representative data at a County level for all Kenya’s 47 Counties.

Additionally, it should be noted that the survey was conducted during the COVID -19 pandemic, causing operational challenges to respondents and interviewers. A total of 22,024 households across Kenya provided data on their Financial Needs, Financial Health, and Inclusive Green Finance, this last component measured the vulnerability of the population to climate change-related events and how they affect disadvantaged groups such women and youth.

AFI Support

Through the In-Country Implementation (ICI) facility, AFI supported the CBK and other partners to enable the conduct of this survey. The findings of this survey will complement the regularly collected supply-side data to enable the formulation of evidence-based policies as we embark on the process of recovery from the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Preliminary Findings

Based on the preliminary report, I am pleased to note positive performances that have been recorded across all key financial inclusion indicators.

Comparison between the 2006 baseline survey and the 2021 FinAccess Survey:

  • Formal financial inclusion in Kenya as measured by the access dimension, expanded to 83.7 percent in 2021 from 26.7 percent in the baseline Survey conducted in 2006.
  • The use of informal sources to access financial services has declined to 4.7 percent in 2021 from 32.1 percent in the 2006 baseline Survey.

The gender gap has been reduced consistently in the log-run yet with a slight reversal during the pandemic

  • Reduced disparities in the access to financial services by gender are also highlighted by this recent FinAccess Survey, narrowing the gender gap over time, from 8.5 percent in 2016 to 2 percent in 2021, thus enabling women to participate more meaningfully in formal economic activities. However, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic led to a slight reversal in this gap between 2019 and 2021 with an increase in the exclusion gap of 1.6 percentage points in 2021 compared with 0.5 percentage points gap in 2019, before the pandemic.

 

  • Significant headway was made in improving access to formal financial services, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Between 2019 – 2021 people have increased their daily use of financial services in all categories. Mobile money users are using this service daily at twice the rate they were in 2019.The data shows that customers are using mobile money for more kinds of payments than before, especially monthly bill payments, purchases at point of sale, medical bills and school fees.

Conclusion

The 2021 Kenya FinAccess survey will not only help Kenya authorities in their forthcoming financial inclusion policy implementation, but it will also serve as a model and example to other AFI member institutions on how to conduct a demand survey in times of a crisis, how to collect data on disadvantaged groups and on new thematic areas such as financial health and inclusive green finance.

I take this opportunity to urge all participants in this webinar to take a close look at the 2021 FinAccess Survey report and the tools that were used in conducting the survey. As always, AFI stands ready to facilitate any further learnings between the CBK and other AFI members.

Finally, I wish to congratulate the Central Bank of Kenya, the Kenya Bureau of National Statistics (KNBS) and FSD Kenya on the achievement and I wish you fruitful deliberations during the webinar.

Thank you, all. 

 

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