The Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) sponsored Global Policy Forum (GPF) is dubbed to be the world’s vital forum for financial inclusion (FI) policymakers. The annual flagship event is a comprehensive forum for regulatory institutions for sharing experiences, knowledge, and initiatives meant to mainstream into the financial services the 1.7 billion unbanked of the world.
The National Bank of Rwanda (NBR) and the Alliance for Financial Inclusion will host the 2019 AFI Global Policy Forum from 11-13 September 2019, in Kigali, Rwanda. The theme for AFI GPF 2019 is, “Using Technology for Inclusion of Women and Youth.” Under the auspices of this theme, gender equality policies and equal participation of women in all spheres of life will exhibit the experience of Rwanda at the Forum. The event will also highlight how the use of technology will introduce progress in financial inclusion of the highly vulnerable groups–specifically women and youth.
Following the Denarau Action Plan’s (DAP)—the commitment to gender and women’s financial inclusion by the AFI—acceptance at the 2016 GPF in Nadi (Fiji), AFI members have committed to minimising the gender gap considerably by 2021 in their concerned geographies. The DAP is a 10-point plan aimed at developing regulatory and operational ecosystem favourable for women to be able to access financial products and services. The DAP acted as a platform for the AFI members to acknowledge, believe, recognise, welcome, accept, recall, commend, and call for ending the persistent gender gap in access to financial services.
The DAP is devised keeping in mind that it will incorporate (gender considerations), consider and implement (optimal practices for women’s FI integration), leverage (digital financial services), highlight (role of fitting financial infrastructure), invite (focal points to lead women’s FI), develop (optimal practices in data collection and analysis—indicators’ development), encourage (AFI members to set objectives and targets in-line with the Maya Declaration and their respective NFIS—National Financial Inclusion Strategies), call-on (private sector entities and financial institutions also via AFI’s public-private dialogue to serve women market segment optimally for financial services), promote (collaboration with stakeholders—government agencies, civil society, and development partners—to identify gender-specific barriers, advocate women’s FI, encourage data solutions for implementing gender oriented policies for FI, and developing conducive environment to foster women’s FI), and drive (increased gender diversity in AFI member institutions).
The 2019 GPF will assess the progress achieved so far and recommend initiatives pressingly required to be taken so as to attain the target of ceasing the financial inclusion gender gap. The manner in which AFI members are developing and executing financial inclusion policies for the youth and the commitments necessary–AFI being a global policy leadership alliance–to devise financial inclusion specific services and products easily accessible to youth, will also be addressed and discussed.