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.
While the private sector across the world is on a journey towards greening their activities, COP26 marked a milestone so significant that it was termed the Business and Finance COP. In other words, COP26 made ‘climate action mainstream business’. But what challenges and opportunities does this newfound interest present for Africa?
Through its AfyaPoa range of products, Insurance for All (IFA) has been delivering affordable and relevant protection to underserved Kenyans in the informal sector for over two years. Intending to broaden its reach through new gig economy partnerships and strengthen and improve its products and distribution approaches, IFA, with support from FSD Kenya and research assistance from 17 Triggers, conducted a four-month research and design phase followed by a six-month pilot.
Rather than a ‘cost’ to the state, social protection is an essential component of any sustainable, national economic growth strategy. Most of the world’s successful economies are significant investors in social protection, with spending across the OECD averaging 12 per cent of GDP.
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.
In 2019, FSD Kenya and Turaco – a Kenyan microinsurtech startup providing simple, low-cost health and life insurance products to emerging market consumers – collaborated on a three-month pilot project in with a leading digital lender in Kenya. The study found that 80% of respondents were most interested in an in-patient cover to cushion the cost of hospital admissions, saying getting such insurance for free is incentive enough to repay their loans on time. Almost 50% of the treatment group opted in to having insurance payments added to their future loans, citing the idea of low-cost insurance from a financial service provider they know and trust as a key incentive.
In mid-July we interviewed a subset of FSD Kenya/CARE’s Building Livelihoods programme beneficiaries in Northern Kenya to understand the extent to which resources built up through the programme are supporting resilience of beneficiary households during COVID-19, and how these compare and interact with traditional pastoralist coping mechanisms.
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.
Over the past four years, FSD Kenya’s Building Livelihoods programme in Northern Kenya has explored how extremely poor households can be transitioned out of poverty and into sustainable livelihoods through stronger engagements with markets.