Togo cooks up a national strategy to boost financial inclusion

Economic governance
Thursday, 08 July 2021 16:32
Togo cooks up a national strategy to boost financial inclusion

(Togo First) - The Togolese government is on the brink of adopting a national strategy for financial inclusion. A seminar was held yesterday, July 7, to discuss this strategy. 

The document will be a formal framework consolidating initiatives related to financial inclusion. Official sources said it aims to “tackle regional disparities in accessing financial services." "This," they added, "will help achieve the objectives of the government roadmap which has financial inclusion as one of its main focuses.” 

In recent years, Togo has established several instruments to allow the poorest people to access financing. One of these tools is the National Fund for Inclusive Finance (FNFI). Launched in January 2014, this Fund has loaned more than CFA94 billion to over 1.7 million people, so far. 

Between 2014 and 2020, the Togolese government distributed CFA8.61 billion in cash transfers to vulnerable households. These transfers, managed by the Agence nationale d'appui au développement à la base (Anadeb), reached 90,000 beneficiaries. 

Last year, amid the pandemic, the Novissi program was launched to support those who were affected the most by the crisis and measures taken to curb its impact. The program - backed by the International Development Association (IDA) and the international NGO GiveDirectly - leveraged mobile money and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. 

Besides these efforts made by the public sector, there has been a growth in the performances of private microfinance institutions. Data from the BCEAO shows that 53% of Togolese aged 15 and more have an account in these institutions. 

Similarly, mobile money services have been booming since 2015. Between that year and 2019, the country’s two mobile money platforms - Flooz and T-Money - totaled CFA2,000 billion of transfers. The figure was disclosed by the ministry of the digital economy in January 2020. 

Regarding the number of users, these platforms, a report from the digital communications and posts regulator (ARCEP) revealed, had respectively five million and four million users in the same year. Also, 72% of mobile users in the country have a mobile money wallet. 

Due to these achievements, Togo was lauded as a model in terms of financial inclusion. 

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