Building inclusive financial systems in the Middle East and Africa


Financial inclusion is key to unlocking economic potential in the Middle East and Africa. That's why OMFIF has partnered with the Mastercard Policy Center for the Digital Economy to foster public-private dialogue on building inclusive national payment systems.

We're excited to announce the release of our new report that examines financial inclusion initiatives in the region. The report builds on the World Economic Forum white paper outlining ‘Shared principles for an inclusive financial system’. It draws on insights from a survey of nine public institutions as well as roundtable discussions hosted by OMFIF and the Mastercard Policy Center for the Digital Economy.

Less than 50% of survey respondents are satisfied with financial inclusion levels currently. But policy-makers and stakeholders are taking steps to leverage the digital transformation to boost levels of financial inclusion.

Read the full report for a comprehensive analysis of the landscape and future policy directions to advance financial inclusion in the Middle East and Africa.

Key findings:

  • Digital approaches for financial inclusion are a priority: 89% of survey respondents have strategies aligned to the ‘digitally led’ principle for an inclusive financial system.
  • Policy-makers are striving to strike a balance between mitigating risks and enhancing innovation to combat cybersecurity threats and improve consumer protection frameworks.
  • An integrated and interoperable financial system is critical to a ‘systems approach’ to advancing financial inclusion. But challenges related to infrastructure, access and costs in the region persist. 


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