Banjul, The Gambia –December 10, 2019: Financial inclusion is a critical enabler to reducing poverty and boosting shared prosperity. The World Bank, working in conjunction with the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), and the United Nation Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) will support the Central Bank of The Gambia as it sets off on leading the elaboration of a National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS).
A key objective of the NFIS is to provide a roadmap for expanding financial inclusion in The Gambia. A three-day sensitization workshop opened today at the Ocean Bay Hotel brought together participants from different professional backgrounds to share their perspectives and inputs for the conceptualization of the NFIS.
The workshop aims to raise awareness amongst the stakeholders on the importance of financial inclusion to economic and social development including the widespread use of safe, affordable, and convenient formal financial services. It also aims at demonstrating the critical role that the NFIS can play in ensuring a strategic, coherent, and measurable approach in advancing financial inclusion.
“Financial inclusion can contribute to sustaining economic welfare and to reducing poverty. It also supports economic, monetary and financial stability by making savings and investments decisions more efficient, enhancing the transmission of monetary policy and facilitating the functioning of the economy,” said Dr. Seeku A.K Jaabi, the First Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of The Gambia in his opening remarks.
Achieving greater financial inclusion requires a deliberate and coordinated approach to identify relevant obstacles and opportunities, leverage linkages across financial and non-financial policy areas, and align the efforts by multiple stakeholders.
“The World Bank technical assistance project will assist with providing supply-side data diagnostics to drafting and launching the NFIS, as well as operationalizing key components of the Strategy”, said Elene Imnadze, the World Bank Resident Representative to The Gambia. “We are excited to work with the authorities, key stakeholders and development partners as the country takes first critical steps towards greater financial inclusion,” she added.
The ultimate objective of enhancing financial inclusion is to improve the welfare of the Gambian citizens and to contribute to the country’s socio-economic development. “Financially included population is key to reducing income inequality and poverty as well as boosting productivity and growth that could accelerate the realisation of The Gambia’s aspirations to become a middle-income country in the not too distant future,” noted Mr. Alagie Fadera, the Director of Planning, Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs.