The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed an additional two million Kenyans into poverty. Health shocks are particularly devastating for low-income households, most of which lack access to insurance and hardly save towards such eventualities due to a myriad of competing daily priorities.
I love numbers, charts, infographics and digging into insights, especially from the robust FinAccess survey that FSD Kenya has co-led with the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) and the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) since 2005. Not just because I find it interesting, but because FinAccess is a temperature check for Kenya’s financial inclusion and financial health. FinAccess points us to the questions which remain open about how Kenya’s financial system can deliver on its promise in meeting the needs of the real economy. As we closed 2021 with the FinAccess launch on the 15th of December, I had the honour of sharing some of these initial questions as I reflected on the numbers in my remarks. I look forward to exploring the answers with many across the sector as well as surfacing more questions that can lead us further down the path of a truly inclusive financial system for Kenya.
The FinAccess Household Survey, commonly referred to as FinAccess, is a series of surveys jointly conducted by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) and FSD Kenya every two to three years to establish the level of financial inclusion, as well as to measure the drivers and usage of financial services in Kenya.
FSD Kenya in partnership with the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics and the Central Bank of Kenya and FSD Kenya ran a survey of micro businesses (MSEs) to track the impacts of COVID-19 on this population. Based on a sample of microbusinesses drawn from the FinAccess 2019 household survey, the survey tracked key metrics such as business revenue, customer flow, employment, use of finance and challenges faced by MSEs between February 2020 (before the pandemic) and July 2021.
It is hard to believe it has been more than a year since the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in Kenya, forcing us to make many unanticipated adjustments about the way we worked.
Most significantly, we had to shift to remote working. One year down the line, I am immensely proud of our team for staying the course so far and maintaining our momentum despite the disruption of COVID-19.
Kenya has received world-wide recognition as leader in financial innovation. This is a laudable achievement because finance holds the potential to unlock solutions to the real-world problems that Kenyans face in their daily lives.
On Thursday 3rd September 2020, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), the Kenya Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) and the Financial Sector Deepening Trust (FSD Kenya) hosted a “FinAccess Datafest” webinar, live-streamed to a global audience on YouTube.