A G7 Partnership for Women's Digital Financial Inclusion in Africa

A G7 Partnership for Women's Digital Financial Inclusion in Africa

A report from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation outlines how the G7 — a group of the world's wealthiest nations — can help African governments, central banks, and financial institutions build more inclusive, sustainable, and responsible digital financial systems to ensure financial inclusion for an additional four hundred million people, nearly 60 percent of whom are women. Prepared at the request of the G7's president, the report, A G7 Partnership for Women's Digital Financial Inclusion in Africa(24 pages, PDF), draws on the foundation's experience investing in financial services for the poor to offer recommendations in three categories: infrastructure, regulation, and planning. According to the report, the five key elements of advancing digital financial inclusion are building an interoperable digital payment infrastructure; building equitable digital identification systems that give individuals the proof of identity needed to open a financial account; updating financial regulations to accommodate digital products and services; identifying policies and investments that maximize the benefits and minimize the harms of digital financial systems; and researching the best ways to design systems and deliver services that ensure gender equality. "With access to digital financial services, they will have the ability to earn money and to choose how to spend it," writes Gates Foundation co-chair Melinda Gates. "Millions of entrepreneurial women will be able to get startup capital, do business efficiently without layers of middle men, save, and invest in priorities like health and education that supercharge development."

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