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ADB provides US$320,000 grant to ECOWAS digital financial operations

ADB provides US$320,000 grant to ECOWAS digital financial operations

Banking & FinanceIndustry VerticalsRegionsTop StoriesWest Africa

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (ADB) has awarded a grant of US$320, 535 to the West African Monetary Agency to mainstream gender in ECOWAS’ core digital financial services (DFS) regulatory frameworks.

According to ADB, the funds will support a gender gap analysis of several WAMA strategies including those for financial inclusion, gender disaggregation data analytics, digital payment services and infrastructure, and digital identity.

The project, to be executed over a three year period, will potentially affect 350 million people in all 15 ECOWAS nations comprising: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Cabo Verde, Ghana, Guinea, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.

The grant will be disbursed through the Africa Digital Financial Inclusion Facility, a blended finance vehicle, supported by the bank.

“With a secretariat comprising all the 15 ECOWAS central banks, WAMA plays a pivotal role in the consolidation and implementation of strategic financial inclusion objectives. ADFI and the WAMA project team will work closely with other ecosystem players in the region to ensure harmonisation of efforts for maximum impact,” said Sheila Okiro, Coordinator, ADFI.

The project has the potential to raise by 35% women’s participation in digital financial market operations in the region, which has a higher gender disparity than other parts of the continent as reflected in its Gender Development Index of 0.825 versus the African average of 0.871.

Africa has a gender-inclusion gap of 11% as compared to the global average of 9%  according to the 2017 Findex Report.

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