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‘Women, youth financial inclusion boost GDP’

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The African Centre for Economic Transformation’s (ACET) has stressed the need for women and the youth to have access to bank accounts or other financial services , stating that this allows them to contribute to a country’s economic growth.

 

 

In a statement, the Director of Country Engagements and Operations, ACET, Dr. Edward Brown, said: “Analytical work has shown that when you include women in the economy and improve their access to financial services, this increases Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2 to 3 percent,” adding : “It is vital for a country’s economic transformation that women and youth are given access to financial services that’ll increase their capacity to contribute to the economy.”

 

 

According to him, greater financial inclusion would also help African countries solve the structural problem of economic growth that fails to produce jobs for the youth, known as “jobless growth.”

 

 

Financial inclusion is one of five thematic chapters currently being developed by ACET under the Pan-African Coalition for Transformation (PACT), which was launched in Kigali, Rwanda, two years ago.

 

 

To inform the work of PACT, ACET is conducting a comparative study of financial inclusion in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Zambia, supported by Canada’s International Development Research Centre.

 

 

The study focuses on promoting women’s and youth financial inclusion for entrepreneurship and job creation. The study will take stock of policy and regulatory interventions, alongside supply side and demand side barriers and innovations, in order to evaluate the success of existing financial inclusion initiatives.

 

 

While public policy initiatives may determine progress in accessing financial services on the regulatory side, innovative processes and products do usually show what is being done to broaden financial inclusion beyond traditional male clients on the supply side.

 

 

On the demand side, the study will look at how women and youth fare in terms of access, quality, usage and welfare.

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