Banjul, Gambia (PANA) - The World Bank, working in conjunction with the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), declared here Tuesday it would support the central bank of The Gambia in establishing a National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS), an official told PANA here.
The bank made the pledge at a three-day sensitization workshop that opened here, bringing together participants from different professional backgrounds to share their perspectives and inputs for the conceptualization of the NFIS.
The workshop aims to raise awareness among 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, which is a critical enabler to reducing poverty and boosting shared prosperity.
A key objective of the NFIS is to provide a roadmap for expanding financial inclusion in The Gambia.
“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.
He noted that achieving greater financial inclusion required 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.
-0- PANA MSS/RA 10Dec2019