Incoming Chair of the AFI Board of Directors - Closing Remarks at the 2017 Annual General Meeting (AGM)


Annual General Meeting (AGM),
2017 AFI Global Policy Forum (GPF)
Wednesday, 13 September 2017, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

Closing Remarks by Dr. Isaac Sidney Ferreira, Deputy Governor, Banco Central do Brasil

I would like to thank the words of Dr. Benno Ndulu, Governor of the Bank of Tanzania, whom I will have the grateful and challenging task of succeeding as the Chair of the AFI Board of Directors. Dr. Ndulu is an example not only of dedication to the cause of financial inclusion, but, above all, an example of leadership within AFI.

My mission to take on the Chair of the AFI Board after him, as I have already said, will not be easy. Therefore, in order to cope with this difficult task I am now being presented with, I expect to rely on his experience and to count on his advice. In any event, I am very pleased to assume the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion, an organization composed of more than 100 member institutions, representing more than 90 countries.

I would like to thank the AFI members and the AFI Board of Directors for their trust in Brazil, and for their trust in Banco Central do Brasil, institution that I am honored to represent today as I take over as Chair of the AFI Board.

Brazil has been an AFI member since 2010 and a member of the AFI Board of Directors since 2015. We are very proud to be a member of the Alliance, whose maturation we have closely followed. Indeed, it seems relevant to note that AFI now depends to a lesser extent on contributions from external donors, relying more and more on the membership fees from its own members.

Although AFI is a relatively young organization, it has already taken on a prominent and prestigious role before the international community, consolidating itself progressively as a leading organization and a global reference on the financial inclusion of the underprivileged. Unequivocal proof of such maturity is the number of countries that have joined AFI and have started to contribute financially as members of the organization.

One example is the recent membership of Argentina, an important country for Latin America’s regional context. In fact, the joining of new members is very important to the organization. Newcomers bring new ideas and motivation. Moreover, the joining of one newcomer encourages other countries to join the Alliance.

AGM’s recent approval of the expansion of the AFI Board follows the same line, in that it adjusts the size and composition of the Board to AFI’s new reality and to the dimension that AFI now possesses in the global scenario. We are now nine members – instead of seven – which will provide the Board with wider geographic coverage and greater diversity in its composition.

As to new members of the Board of Directors – Samoa, Egypt, and Mongolia – I would like to greet them and congratulate them for joining the Board. I would also like to welcome the Central Bank of West African States to AFI, representing its eight member countries.

Another aspect that demonstrates the growing relevance of AFI in the global scenario is the ever-rising number of people interested in participating in the events we organize – this is especially true regarding our Global Policy Forum.

In this year's edition of the GPF, we have over 700 participants. This is an astounding figure that confirms the leadership that AFI has exerted in the international scene when it comes to financial inclusion. We need to be prepared for the growing importance not only of the role of our Alliance in the international scenario, but also of financial inclusion as a topic of global interest.

I would therefore like to reaffirm to my fellow members of our Alliance that – with their support and the support from my colleagues in AFI’s Board, including AFI’s Executive Director – I commit to working hard in order for AFI to fulfill its primary mission of being a network for production and exchange of content and experiences in financial inclusion.

Above all, I am eager to continue the work of my predecessors so that AFI can consolidate itself as the leading organization and world reference for the financial inclusion of the underprivileged.

Thank you very much.

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