H.M. Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA), met today with South Africa Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor at Huis ten Bosch Palace in The Hague.
It was an opportunity to build upon a short meeting between the Special Advocate and Minister Pandor on the sidelines of the G20 Summit last month in Rome, which Queen Máxima attended in her capacity as the UNSGSA and as Honorary Patron of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI).
Discussion focused on collaborating to support and strengthen South Africa’s commitment to promoting women’s digital and financial inclusion on the African continent.
This included investment in key digital public goods—such as connectivity, cybersecurity, digital identification and physical infrastructure, among others—so that people can safely participate in and benefit from being part of the formal digital economy. Digital financial services for underserved groups, including women and smallholder farmers, have been critical to pandemic recovery efforts.
The meeting also enabled the UNSGSA to follow up on financial inclusion items previously discussed with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa during a virtual meeting in March 2021.
Financial inclusion across the African continent has been a priority issue for the Special Advocate. In addition to collaboration with South Africa, this year Queen Máxima and her partners have held virtual country visits with Côte d'Ivoire, Senegal and Togo to support their national and regional financial inclusion initiatives.
Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, the Special Advocate engaged with numerous countries across the African continent, including visits to Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania.