Akinwunmi Adesina

The African Development Bank along with its partners have launched the Africa Digital Financial Inclusion Facility (ADFI) in a bid to expand and ensure digital financial transactions’ safety across Africa. The Fund was launched at the Development Bank’s Annual Meetings Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the Government of Luxembourg, as initial contributors.

“We believe that with the right investments in innovation and smart digital growth, the obstacles to achieving financial inclusion and greater economic opportunity for all will be overcome,” African Development Bank President Akinwunmi Adesina said.

The Fund aims to provide financial access to the unbanked African population and disburse $100 million in grants and $300 million in the form of debt by 2030 in an attempt to expand the reach of electronic financial services for low-income communities. A four-pillar intervention designed by the fund includes infrastructure, digital products and innovation, policy and regulatory reform and capacity building.

“With ADFI, we are convinced that our joint efforts can contribute efficiently to bring down the barriers that still undermine the full potential of digital finance in Africa. It will enhance the delivery of quality and responsible digital financial services to the underserved, a cornerstone to inclusive and sustainable financial systems. AFD welcomes the specific attention that will be given to women’s digital financial inclusion in the evaluation of the projects to be supported,” said Sébastien Minot, AFD’s Deputy Head for Africa.

The ADFI aims to involve banks, NBFCs, mobile-network operators, fintechs as well as regulatory bodies in its goal of achieving economic empowerment and financial inclusion.

by Megha Bhattacharya
Market Analyst at IBS Intelligence