The UNSGSA’s country visits reveal concrete opportunities at varying stages of financial inclusion—and the enthusiasm and many best practices that are emerging. As UNSGSA, Queen Máxima plays a catalytic role by sharing experiences from other countries and connecting people and institutions to learn from each other.
Indonesia has reached a critical junction in its efforts to advance financial inclusion. Since the launch of its national financial inclusion strategy in 2016, the network of agents has expanded rapidly and the government has made significant progress in implementing digital government-to-person payments.
However, regulatory enhancements will be key...Read more
India has made tremendous strides in expanding access to financial services, thanks in large part to its robust digital infrastructure. The proportion of adults with a formal account more than doubled between 2011 and 2017, from 35 to 80 percent. The country has also successfully narrowed the gender gap in account ownership to 6 percentage points,...Read more
The last time the Special Advocate visited Nigeria, in 2012, the country had just launched its national financial inclusion strategy, which laid out a goal of achieving 80 percent financial inclusion by 2020. Since then, Nigeria has made significant progress in a number of areas. Nearly half the population gained access to financial services by 2016,...Read more
Over the past several years, Mexico has taken steps to modernize its financial system, including improving Internet connectivity, digitizing payments, and working to close the gender gap in access to financial services. Still, only 44 percent of the population has a bank account, and the number of banking agents remains low at just over 41,000. The...Read more
Within just one generation, Viet Nam has undergone an extraordinary transformation from being one of the world’s poorest nations to achieving lower-middle-income status. While financial inclusion has also increased sharply, the majority of Vietnamese still do not have a formal bank account.
Now, the country is looking to build on the progress of...Read more
The Special Advocate often observes that financial inclusion is a universal issue, one that needs to be addressed in every country. The situation in Argentina illustrates her point with great clarity.
Although Argentina is a middle-income country with the third-largest economy in Latin America, around a third of the population lives in poverty. Economic...Read more
Indonesia’s dynamic growth over the last 15 years has helped cut poverty in more than half. Still, 40 percent linger right above the poverty line, their economic prospects in need of further protection. To build further on this progress, the government has made a commitment to extend financial inclusion to three-quarters of the population by 2019.
The UNSGSA met with the newly appointed minister of finance, the governor and leaders of the Reserve Bank of India, non-bank financial services providers, members of the Indian Banks Association, and other stakeholders. She commended the important work India has done and encouraged going “the last mile” to reach those in remote areas. She also...Read more
In her keynote address at the presentation of Colombia’s National Strategy for Financial Inclusion, Queen Máxima congratulated the Government on the progress it has made over the past ten years. Now, Colombia is entering a second phase of financial inclusion, in which the emphasis should be on use of the right products, as well as extended...Read more
Ethiopia’s agricultural sector has tremendous potential to drive economic growth; access to basic financial services can help smallholder farmers and rural communities harness that potential. The UNSGSA visited the country to promote basic financial inclusion, and support for specialized financial services designed and delivered to rural households,...Read more
In her keynote address at the Launch of the National Financial Inclusion Framework the UNSGSA noted the rapid progress in Tanzania since her last visit in 2010, and congratulated the leadership for setting ambitious forward looking goals. She met with H.E. President Jakaya Kikwete, H.E. Ms. Saada Salum, Minister of Finance, and Governor Benno Ndulu,...Read more
The UNSGSA joined the Vice-President of Nigeria and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria to launch Nigeria’s National Financial Inclusion Strategy, acknowledging its significance in changing the future for millions of Nigerians. In her remarks, the UNSGSA encouraged all stakeholders to work together and across sectors in order to ensure the...Read more
In Brasilia, Queen Máxima met with the Minister of Finance and the President of the Central Bank to discuss Brazil’s recent progress, including its National Partnership for Financial Inclusion and new action plan. She visited a financial education class at a vocational school in the Pinheiros district of São Paulo, and conducted high-level outreach...Read more
The UNSGSA met with the President of the Republic of Indonesia, the Governor of Indonesia’s Central Bank, Minister of Finance, Coordinating Minister for the Economy, and the Minister of Policy and Planning. They discussed the draft national Strategy on Financial Inclusion, which supports the country’s pro-poor growth and development objectives,...Read more
In meetings in Kuala Lumpur, the UNSGSA met with the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank, Deputy Minister of Finance, and the Crown Prince of the State of Perak. Together they explored the benefits of even greater cross-sector collaboration to build on Malaysia’s Financial Sector Blueprint and the SME Corporation, and the Central Bank’s mandate...Read more
In Ankara, the UNSGSA met with the Deputy Prime Minister, Governor of the Central Bank, and the Minister of Family and Social Policies. They discussed national strategies to accelerate progress on deepening Turkey’s financial sector and financial inclusion, including greater cross-sector coordination and finalizing a national plan. She encouraged...Read more
In meetings with the Deputy Minister of Finance, Governor of the South African Reserve Bank, and the Minister in the Presidency in charge of the National Planning Commission, the UNSGSA commended the progress made on financial inclusion in South Africa and new initiatives such as a baseline study on consumer protection and financial literacy. She encouraged...Read more
The UNSGSA and the President of Mexico discussed opportunities for Mexico to accelerate and deepen its good progress on financial inclusion through government leadership, policy, continued innovation and investments. She emphasized the opportunity for Mexico to promote financial inclusion globally during its presidency of the G20 in 2012. The UNSGSA...Read more
The UNSGSA explored ways to strengthen the soundness of the growing microfinance sector in Senegal, Mali and the West African Economic and Monetary Union through robust consumer protection, among other measures. She also discussed ways to increase access to a diverse range of financial services for individuals and enterprises, especially but not...Read more
The UNSGSA met with the Vice Premier of Vietnam, the Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam, the Minister of Finance; and the President of Vietnam Women’s Union, to discuss how Vietnam could further increase access to savings and other financial services for the poor, and the role of comprehensive data in effective policy making. In particular, the...Read more
The UNSGSA promoted ways to accelerate access to savings, payments and other financial services for individuals and small and medium enterprises. She joined the Chairman of the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) to launch draft regulations for non-banking financial institutions. She also met with the Governor of the Central Bank, Minister...Read more
The UNSGSA had wide-ranging consultations with the President of Liberia, senior government officials, banks, civil society and donors on creating an inclusive financial sector following years of conflict. She addressed the needed for a strong regulatory framework, market leaders and innovative technological solutions. She visited the Local Enterprise...Read more
The UNSGSA met with Central Bank Governor, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, and industry figures, among others. She launched a micro-health insurance initiative, led a multi-stakeholder discussion to facilitate dialogue across sectors and institutions and visited rural farmers.Read more
The UNSGSA held consultations with the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning and Governor of the National Bank of Rwanda. She led a multi-stakeholder discussion focused on extending access, financing the value chain, and building enterprises. The UNSGSA made field visits to microfinance clients, including one investing in a biogas digester, as...Read more