Activities

The UNSGSA Promotes Financial Inclusion on Visit to Ethiopia

The Special Advocate discussed how the country could embrace financial inclusion as a priority and help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

During her two-day visit, she identified several key opportunities to increase financial inclusion, including: the expansion of digital financial services through regulations and licensing of non-banks that can provide payment services; improvements in the lending infrastructure; and, the prioritization and sequencing of National Financial Inclusion Strategy actions.

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The UNSGSA

Queen Máxima of the Netherlands

Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands is the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA).

As Special Advocate, Queen Máxima champions universal access to affordable, effective, and safe financial services for the poor. Collaborating closely with global and national partners, she raises awareness, encourages leadership, works to break down barriers, and supports action to expand financial inclusion. Queen Máxima is also honorary patron of the G20’s Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion and serves as a Global Agenda Trustee for the World Economic Forum’s Global Challenge Initiative on the Future of the Global Financial System. In the Netherlands, she is a member of the Committee for Entrepreneurship and Finance and honorary chair of the Dutch Money Wise Platform.

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon designated Queen Máxima as his Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development.

Financial Inclusion

Thirty-one percent of the world’s adults—1.7 billion people—struggle to get by without the basic financial services they need to protect themselves against hardship and invest in their futures.

Financial inclusion seeks to unlock development opportunity and improve the lives of all, especially the poor, by expanding access to catalytic financial tools.

Affordable, effective, and safe financial services—savings, insurance, payments, credit, and more—can play a transformative role by fostering equitable growth and furthering vital development goals such as poverty reduction, job creation, gender equality, and food security.

Financial inclusion can support families when they confront unexpected setbacks and help them work their way out of poverty. It can permit small entrepreneurs to invest in their businesses and create jobs. And it can allow societies and economies to grow stronger and more inclusive.

Financial inclusion cannot end poverty and inequality on its own, but it can contribute significantly to building better lives and more resilient communities. By opening a path to empowerment and opportunity for all, an inclusive financial system is essential infrastructure for every country.

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