Mobiles and Microfinance in sub-Saharan Africa
The impact of mobile banking in helping with microfinance initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa is highlighted in a new report on the world’s most unbanked region. Guy Daniels reports.
CGAP, the independent policy and research centre at the World Bank dedicated to advancing financial access for the world’s poor, and the Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX) have released their joint analysis of microfinance and key trends in Sub Saharan Africa for 2011. They say this is the first time that comprehensive data has been made available, covering around 23,000 providers of deposit, credit or mobile banking services in the 45 countries that make up the Sub-Saharan region.
The report, ‘Aspirations for Financial Inclusion in Africa’, states that the Sub-Saharan region contains the largest portion of people excluded from formal financial services. Only 12 per cent of adults have a bank account, and the situation is most dire in rural areas where the large majority of the 863 million people in Africa live.
Looking at the trends over the past year, they have established four goals for 2012: a sharp client focus, comprehensive financial inclusion vision, healthy markets, and capacity to reach scale.