To reach the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, emerging economies require US $3.3 to $4.5 trillion per year in funding, but they face an estimated annual shortfall of US $2.5 trillion.
Kenya’s progress on inclusive financial sector development over the past five years places Kenya at the front of the curve relative to its peers. But beneath its headline success story, falling financial health and growing disparities in financial usage point to underlying challenges that compromise the ability of financial inclusion to deliver on its promise for inclusive and sustainable growth.
People’s ability to participate within the more formalised markets which characterise the modern sector of an economy is often conditioned by the degree of access to the financial system. Exclusion from finance can result in exclusion from opportunities to participate productively in value chains.
In 2016 FSD Kenya branched outside our core financial inclusion remit to embark on a new pilot in Marsabit county where we sought to develop a more holistic approach to economic inclusion. The ambition was to deepen the value of finance in people’s lives, moving beyond financial access and use and investing in building capabilities and market linkages to enable finance to yield stronger impacts on livelihood resilience and growth. Our aim was to reach the extreme poor and especially women, who are not well served by the financial sector.
FSD Kenya partnered with the Overseas Development Institute’s program on Supporting Economic Transformation (SET) to research and better understand Kenya’s trade relationship with a focus on exports.
This document has been developed to provide a review of the regulatory framework for data protection in Kenya. The report takes a broad view of what constitutes the regulatory framework, going beyond the Data Protection Act, 2019 (DAPA) to include the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA).
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.
Globally, fifty-six percent of the unbanked adults are women. In Kenya, the situation is similar. More women are unbanked, in comparison to men. Various steps have been undertaken to address the financial exclusion of women, and though the gender gap has been narrowing over time, it persists.
The Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning has published a draft National Rating Bill 2021 to allow for stakeholder engagement. The Bill seeks to repeal the current Valuation for Rating Act of 1956 (Cap 266) and the Rating Act of 1963 (Cap 267) and seeks to modernize the rating laws to conform them to Article 209 (3) of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 which empowers county governments to impose property taxes.
This research seeks to unearth the financial needs and demands of urban female retail traders in Kenya by exploring how their financial needs are being met, through which instruments, and in turn, where the opportunities lie to drive improved or increased access to financial products.
Most of Kenya’s Fintech solutions are built on the premise of alternative data sources and information sharing to inform decisions, business models, and monetisation models. With the Data Protection Act now in place and draft regulations published, innovators in Kenya now need to think more deeply about innovation that is balanced with compliance with the law.
Recent technological innovations in Kenya are going far in supporting the growth of Kenya’s affordable housing market, by providing an opportunity to leapfrog the less flexible systems that have dominated housing supply in the past.
In Kenya, divergence trends continue with macroeconomic resilience masking sustained inequalities and divergence in recovery. On one hand, inflation remains reasonable; export performance has been relatively strong (especially relative to other African countries); diaspora remittances have been robust; and the mobile money sector has demonstrated sustained resilience and growth.
FSD Kenya implemented a four-year pilot graduation project targeting beneficiaries of the Hunger Safety Net Programme (HSNP) in Laisamis Sub County (Laisamis, Gudas, Logologo, Korr, Merille, Irrir), which provides a bi-monthly cash transfer of Ksh 5,400 (about US$ 54).
The building livelihoods programme is a modified financial graduation project that emphasises market-based programme components to increase cost-effectiveness and potential for scale. The aim of the programme is to help those living in extreme poverty build sustainable livelihoods through business to enable them to live above the ‘survival threshold’, whereby households can meet basic food needs without external assistance (Fitzgibbon & Cabot Venton, 2014).
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.