Opening remarks by Norbert Mumba, AFI Deputy Executive Director at the 10th FID Working Group and 15th FIS Peer Learning Group


Joint Financial Inclusion Strategy Peer Learning Group and Financial Inclusion Data Working Group Meetings

Dushanbe, Tajikistan. 24-27 April 2017

Welcome Remarks by Norbert Mumba, Deputy Executive Director, Alliance for Financial Inclusion 

Honorable Chairman Mr. Jamshed Nurmahmadzoda

Deputy Chairman Mr. Umed Barotovich Latifov

Deputy Chairwoman Ms. Lola Jumaevna Salimova

Financial Inclusion Strategy (FIS) Peer Learning Group Chair, Mr. Joseph Attah

Financial Inclusion Data (FID) Working Group Chair, Mr. Mynard Mojica

Working Group Members,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you for the very warm welcome and reception. It is a great pleasure for me to be here with you all in this beautiful city of Dushanbe and gracing this amazing training facility of National Bank of Tajikistan here in Pugus. Permit me to briefly express my gratitude to Chairman, Mr. Jamshed Nurmahmadzoda and his excellent staff at the National Bank of Tajikistan. We appreciate all your efforts in hosting and organizing these important meetings for the AFI network.

The National Bank of Tajikistan has been an AFI member since 2011. Though relatively new to the network, you are already making a strong contribution and I know your membership in AFI will continue to strengthen our Alliance. Tajikistan has made important advancements to improve and increase access to financial services to the unbanked in recent years, considering that only 11.5 percent of adults have an account at a formal financial institution.  Until recently in March 2017, the President approved and signed the latest Law on the Payment system that will allow e-money and mobile transactions update and a strategy for protection on the Consumers of Financial services in TJ for the period 2017-2019 has been developed and will be undertaking peer review within AFI members. These two important developments will support NBT as it made a Maya Declaration Commitment to work toward including 30 percent of the population in formal financial services, particularly through the use of digital financial services (DFS).

The AFI working groups represent the heart of the AFI network. With over 90 participants present here today, I think I can say with confidence that AFI’s heart is beating strongly.

This week we continue with the trend of having joint Working Group Meetings, from Ghana where the Digital Financial Services and Global Standards Proportionality working groups met, to Seychelles where the Consumer Empowerment & Market Conduct and SME Finance working groups met to now in Dushanbe for the 15th Financial Inclusion Data (FID) working group and 10th Financial Inclusion Strategy (FIS) Peer Learning Group Meeting. I know you will take this opportunity to not only consult with your colleagues within each working groups - but also to exchange ideas between working groups to inspire each other’s work.

It is only through the combination of your work, ideas, experiences, and dedication that we are able to achieve our common financial inclusion goals. AFI’s working groups have already made significant and well recognized contributions to global financial inclusion efforts. And I am very pleased see several important new working group publications being introduced here today by the SMEF WG.  But your work is only just beginning. Thanks to your dedication and commitment, AFI’s reputation as an invaluable resource for financial inclusion guidance is growing rapidly.

Ladies and Gentlemen,   

The world in 2017 presents us with global challenges to the ideas of globalization and open exchanges: Waves of isolationism - Threat or opportunity? AFI will continue to be a champion for a global sharing community, and we will continue to show the value of this approach through our actions. 

In that light, let me give you a few updates about the current work in the AFI network:

  • We are working to strengthen the ties of the AFI network through new initiatives and offices.
    • Regional Offices: Africa process has been completed at the end of March 2017 where we received 10 LoIs. The bidding for the LAC office will close at the end of April 2017 and the process will be completed by August 2017.
    • Regional Initiatives: We will be launching the Financial Inclusion in the Arab Region Initiative (FIARI) at the 2017 GPF in Egypt which will add to the other initiatives within the network (AMPI, PIRI and FILAC)
  • We are expanding our PPD partnerships and trainings. In the last two working group meetings in Ghana and Seychelles, VISA provided trainings.
    • We are expanding our important work on financial inclusion and gender, and following through on the priorities laid out in the Denarau Action Plan. 
    • We are entering into new partnerships with like-minded organizations such as AfDB, which will help us enhance in-country implementation of financial inclusion policies in Africa.
    • We are seeing great progress with our Maya Declaration commitments. The Maya Declaration continues to be an inspiration across and beyond our network and I encourage you to build this into your work streams.

And as always, we are continuously looking at developing trends in financial inclusion and incorporating them within our policy work.

  • Fintech: members endorsed proposal peer learning on Fintech/Regtech, now under preparation.
  • Forcibly Displaced People workshop with the G20 on 26 April in Berlin - outcome report and we need members with experience to share their views
  • Climate Change and Financial Inclusion (“Green Finance”)

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Allow me share with you my excitement about the upcoming 2017 AFI Global Policy Forum- the first to ever be held in the Arab region. Under the theme "Exploring Diversity, Promoting Inclusion" we are now working closely with Central Bank of Egypt to create a milestone event for financial inclusion. Official dates for the GPF are 13-15 September 2017 in Sharm-El-Sheikh, with the Regional Initiatives and Working Groups meeting set to take place the 11-12 September. We expect this to be the largest GPF- and largest event to ever be held by AFI- and most certainly, the working groups will play a key role in its success. 

On that note, my deepest appreciation to Chairman and the National Bank of Tajikistan team for hosting these meetings and wish both the working groups a fruitful and positive deliberations. I look forward to an inspiring discussion- and I am confident that you will have a successful week.

Thank you!

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