Tuesday 27, December 2016 by Jessica Combes

Forum for advancing women’s financial inclusion in the Arab world held

The Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ), the Arab Monetary Fund (AMF) and GIZ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) hosted their second regional policy conference following global commitments and initiatives.

The policy forum on ‘advancing women’s financial Inclusion in the Arab world’ held under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, provided the platform for the announcement of a number of policy actions in the region to enhance women’s participation in the financial sector.

More and more governments from the MENA region cater to enhancing access to and usage of better and more affordable payment services, loans, savings, and insurance products in order to promote social wellbeing, stimulate growth and create jobs. Empowering women, a largely underserved demographic, to make use of financial services will unlock their economic potential and boost economic development.

The CBJ Governor and Deputy Governor, His Excellency Dr. Maher ‘Sheikh Hassan’, released the financial inclusion vision for Jordan, which emphasised digital payment services, microfinance, the financing of SMEs, financial education, and consumer protection for expanding the financial access in the Kingdom.  

The vision forms the starting point for the three-year National Financial Inclusion Strategy to be launched by next year for the period 2018-2020 and follows the CBJ’s recent commitment to the national goal of expanding the access to finance from 24.6 per cent of the adult population to 36.6 per cent by 2020.

The AMF, the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), and GIZ announced their partnership for an Arab Regional Initiative for Financial Inclusion, and the initiative is aimed at sustained peer learning among the member countries in the Arab World.

The initiative is planned to be launched in Abu Dhabi on the occasion of the Arab region’s financial inclusion day on 27 April, 2017, and it will build on the Arab Financial Inclusion Task Force previously established under the umbrella of the Council of Arab Central Bank Governors. Furthermore, the partnership will support the formulation and implementation of a regional Action Plan for Gender and Women Financial Inclusion by the AMF member countries, following the Denarau Action Plan, put in place by policymakers and regulators. 

Financial regulators from the Middle East, Africa and Asia participated in a full day peer learning and capacity building programme on women and financial inclusion carried out in cooperation with the AFI network, following the dialogue from the first day.

  

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