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India supports AfDB’s digital financial inclusion drive in Africa with $2M

India supports AfDB’s digital financial inclusion drive in Africa with $2M

The government of India had said it will donate $2 million to support digital financial inclusion projects in Africa undertaken by the African Development Bank (AfDB’s) Africa Digital Financial Inclusion Facility (ADFI).

A press release announcing the donation says the move will enable ADFI to learn from India’s vast experience with its digital payments system (UPI) which has transformed governance, financial inclusion and resilience for millions of citizens.

The financial commitment also reflects India’s continuous push for digital public infrastructure which can leverage the lives of millions of unbanked and underserved Africans.

The release cites data which indicates that despite the growing tech penetration on the continent, almost half of the more than one billion people, especially women, youth, farmers and people in rural communities, do not enjoy digital financial inclusion.

“We welcome the Government of India’s support of the catalytic role ADFI has been playing in accelerating greater access and usage of digital financial solutions and financial inclusion across the continent,” says AfDB Vice President for the Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization, Solomon Quaynor.

“We look forward to working together to add learning from India’s digital public infrastructure success story within our expanding portfolio of digital financial solutions initiatives to enhance the impact on greater economic empowerment, resilience and growth across Africa.”

Also commenting on the development, an ADFI Governing Council member for India, Manisha Sinha, says the country’s digital public infrastructure model is one to learn from.

“India’s pioneering role in digital financial services, extending financial inclusion to remote rural areas and creating infrastructure for digitisation of financial services, opens a significant opportunity for India to work within the ADFI partnership to share learning and expertise on digital public infrastructure to further digital financial inclusion across the continent.”

What’s ADFI?

Operating under the auspices of the AfDB, ADFI is a multi-partner endeavor whose goal is to ensure that 332 million more Africans have access to the formal economy by 2030.

At least 60 percent of this number should be women, it says.

India comes to join other implementing and funding partners supporting the initiative such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; the French Development Agency; the French Ministry of Finance, the Government of Luxembourg; the French Treasury at the Ministry of Economics, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty; and the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi).

ADFI focusses on three key areas; digital financial infrastructure, policy and regulation, and products and innovation. It executes its projects through grants and concessional loans, according to its website.

The financing vehicle says it is working to expand and deepen its partnership as part of efforts to deliver digital financial inclusion projects in Africa.

In April, the AfDB said it was making available $8 million for the financing of an interoperable bank ID system that will foster financial inclusion in four West African countries.

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