Governor Dr. Rogério Lucas Zandamela, Banco de Moçambique, delivers his opening remarks during the Global Conference on Inclusive Green Finance, 3 December 2020.

3rd Global Conference on Inclusive Green Finance

Thursday, 3 December 2020

Opening remarks by Governor Dr. Rogério Lucas Zandamela, Banco de Moçambique

Fellow governors and deputy governors of the AFI network, AFI Executive Director Dr. Alfred Hannig, AFI management and staff, members of the AFI network, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.

It is a great pleasure and honor to welcome you all to this important event on inclusive green finance, this year being held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this challenging time, I hope you and your families are safe and coping with the increased pressure imposed by this pandemic, as governments strive to mitigate its socioeconomic impact

Allow me to take this opportunity to thank the AFI management unit and all AFI staff for the helpful insight in shaping our policies and regulation to promote financial inclusion in Mozambique.

The COVID-19 pandemic increases our awareness on the urgent need to review and discuss our Inclusive Green Finance policies aiming at supporting the most vulnerable population in building resilience and mitigating the adverse effects of climate change, through financial inclusion.

As we all know, climate change is a global phenomenon that requires a collective policy response. Therefore, in our effort to tackle climate change and move towards a low-carbon economy we have to ensure that we all play our role and no one is left behind.

As central banks and regulators, we are called to incorporate sustainability and resilience into our policy frameworks, addressing environmental, climate and social factors.

The implementation of a prudential policy, including development of stress testing for climate change, review of financial regulation, as well as adoption of financial education on inclusive green finance are critical policies solutions.

Today’s conference is a great opportunity for us to share examples on inclusive green finance policies and their implementation, as well as to identify the next steps towards a globally inclusive green finance policy development.

In this conference, we will be launching the new inclusive green finance reflection paper co-written by School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, and AFI.

Moreover, it will be shared a short video depicting the Maya Declaration commitments made by the AFI Network under the Sharm El Sheik Accord on climate change and financial inclusion.

Natural disasters caused by climate change are more frequent and severe, with significant economic and social impacts, particularly to those at the bottom of the pyramid, thus increasing financial exclusion.

Although Mozambique is in its initial stage on inclusive green finance, allow me to share with you our recent experience on climate change response as well as other developments in this area.

As you may recall, in March and April 2019, the country was struck by two consecutive major cyclones, Idai and Kenneth, with significant negative impact on local population, business and core infrastructure.

In addition to the overwhelming emergence assistance from the international community, banks and microfinance institutions in the affected areas responded to the cyclones by extending loan maturities and providing with grace periods.

The country's exposure to natural phenomena imposed mobility restrictions, thus reinforcing the need and importance of access to digital financial services, which were only possible through a strong collaboration between the Banco de Moçambique, as the financial regulator, banks and mobile money Institutions as well as government institutions and the private sector.

The government has recently approved a new regulation on disaster risk reduction and assessment law, which envisages an integrated approach that addresses the management of natural phenomena to their full extent, from prevention, preparation, response and recovery.

Digital financial services through mobile money institutions have been the main drivers of financial inclusion in Mozambique.

Recognizing the potential of digital financial services and FinTechs in improving the access to and use of financial products and services in the country, in 2018 we introduced a regulatory sandbox for FinTechs.

The regulatory sandbox represents an opportunity to leverage financial innovations, in a controlled environment, for the development and testing of technology-based green finance solutions.

Let us take this opportunity to learn from each other and drive inclusive green finance policies in our own countries. While we try to support our own national climate objectives and strengthen the stability of our financial systems, we need to ensure that those at the base of the pyramid are at the core of all these policies.

As I get near the end of my opening remarks, I would like to thank AFI for co-hosting this conference with Banco de Moçambique and everyone involved in the organization of this conference.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts today and charting together the next steps on advancing inclusive green finance.

Thank you all for your attention.

AFI's inclusive green finance workstream is part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI) supported by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), based on a decision of the German Bundestag.

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