WEF: Business Leaders Push for Cooperation Among Regulators as Key to Financial ...

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Jun 2015
Sub-Saharan Africa, June, 04 2015 - Financial inclusion perceived as a driver of economic growth is a model of bringing the poorer people in the population and those outside the formal financial system into the financial system.

As financial inclusion continues to take centre stage in discussions on economic development, business leaders including Nigeria’s outgoing minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala and vice president of Ghana, Kwessi Amissah Arthur Wednesday at the ongoing WEF in South Africa maintained that regulators in each African economy need to collaborate to deepen financial inclusion.

Financial inclusion perceived as a driver of economic growth is a model of bringing the poorer people in the population and those outside the formal financial system into the financial system.

Speaking yesterday at a session on financial inclusion, Okonjo Iweala strongly believed that deepening financial inclusion lies on tackling the regulatory arbitrage of who regulates the mobile money between the banking and telecom industries.

“How do we regulate mobile money for instance, is it banking or telecom. How do we tackle the regulatory arbitrage of who regulates the mobile money between the two. We need to solve the problem of regulation if we want to encourage financial inclusion”, she told the audience which also included institutional financial managers and experts from Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa among others.

Second critical factor in deepening financial inclusion is trust. According to her, economies need to build trust among the populace by giving them a platform everyone can have confidence in.

Citing the case of Nigeria which she said has made some progress towards financial inclusion, Okonjo Iweala believed that the national identity card pilot that has chip included so that people can make all kinds of transaction and payment would assist in creating the needed confidence.

“Until we have platforms that people trust, they will continue to go to the banks, take their money in cash instead of using it as a means of conducting payment and transactions within the system”.

In Nigeria she said though “it appears we are a little bit behind countries like Kenya and India but the prospects are good. What we need to do is to look at the regulatory aspect”.

The Vice President of Ghana, Authur Amessi believed that regulators need to embrace innovations to deepen the financial inclusion which has economic benefits.

He believed that regulators need to encourage the system which will bring the farmers, artisans in to the formal financial system.

Meanwhile, security has been beefed up around the International Conference Center in Cape Town venue of the forum as more world business and political leaders continue to arrive for the three-day forum to tackle African economic challenges.

Every entrance leading to the venue was properly manned by security agents who ensured that participants were properly checked before entering their venues.

This is as various heads of state are expected today at the forum which is discussing ‘Then and Now: Reimaging Africa Future’.



Source : Business Day
 

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