Financial inclusion has attracted enormous interest because of its promise to provide an instrument for economic and social empowerment. Initial thinking was that simply expanding the reach of the financial sector would produce financial tools to support greater economic and social inclusion. But the results thus far have been disappointing.
In his delivery of the 4th FSD Kenya annual lecture on financial inclusion internationally recognised entrepreneur and business leader, Julian Kyula, discusses the world of fintech from an African continent perspective and the journey we must embark on to participate in how the digital world is changing.
Throughout this blog series I have examined FSD Kenya’s Building Livelihoods programme from an identity perspective. I have shown how the Hunger Safety Net Programme (HSNP) creates valued identities in the community and how there are different pathways to savings group identification and value.
The role of community-based facilitators (CBFs) is to encourage participation in savings groups, ensure groups function effectively, and provide training on basic financial and business skills, as well as prepare participants for formal loans.
Over the past two years I have travelled to Marsabit County in Northern Kenya four times to talk to the same 50 people about their lives and experiences as participants of FSD Kenya’s Building Livelihoods programme. The programme aims to help participants develop sustainable livelihoods through business.
FSD Kenya’s Building Livelihoods programme is a market-based adaptation of the Graduation approach popularised by BRAC in Bangladesh. Over a period of two years, participants shared stories about their lives and early experiences with the programme giving insight into who they are and how they think and change throughout the programme.
In countries as diverse as the United Kingdom, India, and Mexico, there is momentum to increase consumers’ ability to access, manage, and control their digital identity and history.
On 30th June 2017, M-Akiba, a Kenyan government bond sold through the mobile phone, was launched.
After many years, the involvement of many partners and many iterations, M-Akiba, a Kenyan government bond sold through the mobile phone, was launched in 2017.
The rise of a new dawn in Kenya’s payments system
Eleven years after mobile money started in Kenya, a new dawn is rising – that of open and interoperable systems. Just as you can call people on any network in Kenya seamlessly, you can now send money across mobile money networks seamlessly.
The financial services for the poor, or more specifically financial inclusion, industry has realised in the recent past that more and better information about its target client-base is essential to delivering services effectively.
Up until now studies concerning mobile money and financial inclusion have focused largely on aggregate adoption rates and usage trends. Few have shed light on the ways in which women, men and young adults (men and women ages 18-25), use mobile money differently.
The last blog in this series argued that using formal account access as the primary yardstick for progress in financial inclusion is a poor navigational tool for stakeholders working to strengthen the link between financial systems and the well-being of populations.
Open a report on – or read the mandate of an organization working in – financial inclusion and chances are that in the introductory paragraph you’ll read a variation of a single sentence that motivates the whole endeavor: “Worldwide, more than 2 billion adults do not have access to an account at a formal financial institution”.