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Economic experts urge Africa to increase financial inclusion

Economic experts on March 22,2016 urged the African continent to embrace financial inclusion in order to spread economic growth benefits.

African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) executive director Professor Lemma Senbet told journalists in Nairobi that Africa's high economic growth rates have not resulted in proportional reduction of poverty.

"Through financial inclusion Africa will ensure that all citizens benefit from high economic growth," Senbet said during the 18th AERC Senior Policy Seminar on Financial Inclusion.

He added that the benefits of economic growth are heavily concentrated in the hands of a few elite.

 The two-day event brought policy makers, researchers and the private sector to deliberate on increasing the level of financial inclusion across the continent.

Senbet said that financial inclusion will help even marginalized communities enjoy the benefits of economic growth.

He said in Africa only a few countries such as South Africa, Mauritius and Kenya have achieved high levels of financial inclusion.

The executive director said that some African countries have policies that don't encourage the expansion of the financial services sector.

Central Bank of Kenya Deputy Governor Sheila M'Mbijjewe said that approximately 75 percent of Kenyan adults has access to formal financial services.

"As a country we now want to concentrate on improving the quality and cost of the financial services," M'Mbijjewe said. (Source:Xinhua Published: 2016-3-22)


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