FSD Ethiopia, Finequity Africa Convene Top Industry

Players to Discuss Women's Financial Inclusion

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, March 14th, 2024 – FSD Ethiopia, in partnership with FinEquity Africa, gathered policymakers, experts, leaders from financial institutions, regulators, development organizations, and technology firms at Hyatt Regency Hotel in Addis Ababa on March 07, 2023.

The event served as a platform for an in-depth Knowledge Series focused on “Barriers and Opportunities for Women’s Financial Inclusion in Africa”.

The convening facilitated insightful exchanges on strategies to expand women’s financial access and usage. Presentations from researchers and practitioners examined challenges faced by women in Ethiopia’s financial sector.

New findings from a study presented during the event revealed that many Ethiopian women remain excluded due to low digital literacy and a lack of products that meet women’s needs, among others.

Furthermore, the study provided insights into Ethiopia’s current position in terms of financial inclusion and women’s empowerment, offering comparisons with other African countries.

According to the National Bank of Ethiopia’s Financial Inclusion Strategy (2021- 2025), the gender gap in account ownership among Ethiopian adults has significantly widened between 2014 and 2020.

Specifically, the gap increased from just two percentage points in 2014 to an estimated 19 percentage points in 2020. This gender gap in Ethiopia has grown larger than comparable countries in the region, such as Uganda (13 percentage points) and Kenya (8 percentage points).

“Financial inclusion cannot be realized without including women on an equitable basis. And yet the data clearly shows that Ethiopia, like many countries, has significant work still to do in closing the gender gap in access and usage of financial services,” said Abel Taddele, Financial Inclusion Director at FSD Ethiopia.

He continued, “Events like today provide a platform to unpack the barriers uniquely facing women, from lack of IDs and digital literacy to socio-cultural norms restricting mobility and decision making. At FSD Ethiopia, we aim to place the diverse experiences and needs of women at the center of our efforts to build a more inclusive financial system.”

Research findings were shared highlighting the large gender gap in account ownership that has emerged in recent years. Participants engaged in collaborative dialogue on tailored interventions needed to promote greater inclusion.

Aude de Montesquiou, FinEquity Global Facilitator, commented on the importance of today’s convening: “Events like today underscore the business case for why inclusive, tailored policies and solutions are needed to unlock women’s potential as consumers, entrepreneurs, economic actors, and leaders.”

She continued: “FinEquity Africa is committed to working with partners across Africa to better understand the diverse experiences of women and better measure their empowerment through access to financial services, develop climate-smart financial products that work for women, and see how to leverage gender lens investing to support women-led MSMEs towards building a more equitable financial landscape.”

Discussion continued at FinEquity’s Annual Convening, with commitments to replicate successes, close gaps, and reach Africa’s millions of unbanked women.

About FSD Ethiopia

Established in 2021, FSD Ethiopia is a development agency committed to building an accessible, inclusive and sustainable financial system to support Ethiopia’s economic growth. It works to identify and address underlying constraints in the financial sector, while facilitating market actors and helping develop an effective system that benefits all Ethiopians.

About Knowledge Series

As a key FSD Ethiopia program, Knowledge Series convenes finance sector stakeholders to refine policies and support strategic debates through evidence- based discussions. This 7th event in the series focused on women’s financial inclusion.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Samson Berhane

Communications & Advocacy Specialist FSD Ethiopia

samson@fsdethiopia.org

+251937447258