World Bank building- AgnosticPreachersKid via Wikimedia Commons
CAIRO – 30 July 2017: The World Bank Group (WBG) has chosen Egypt, China and Mexico to be their operational countries in its Financial Inclusion Global Initiative.
The program, which aims to advance research in digital finance in developing countries, is launched in cooperation between the WBG, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI), with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Egypt has the ability to bring 44 million citizens to the formal financial sector, according to analyses conducted by the World Bank, the Ministry of International Cooperation and Investment said in a Sunday statement.
The WBG said Egypt has the needed laws, regulations and financial and ICT infrastructure to reach this target, but it lacks financial resources to implement required reforms.
“We are excited to work with ITU and CPMI on this new global initiative that will enable our partner countries to better harness the potential of digital technologies for financial inclusion and to manage associated risks,” said Ceyla Pazarbasioglu, Senior Director for the Finance and Markets Global Practice at WBG.
The participating countries were selected based on potential for country programs, level of commitment by the government and private-sector to financial inclusion, the WBG said.
“An estimated two billion adults are still without access to a bank account, and yet some 1.6 billion of them have access to a mobile phone, creating the potential for e-finance access,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao
China, Egypt and Mexico are already part of the Universal Financial Access 2020 (UFA2020) initiative, led by the World Bank Group, targeting to bring two billion unbanked adults in 25 countries into formal financial systems.