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Financial Inclusion, ICBT And The Role Of ICT In COMESA

Lapukeni, Angella-Faith (2015): Financial Inclusion, ICBT And The Role Of ICT In COMESA. Published in: COMESAKey Issues in Regional Integration , Vol. 4, (2016): pp. 71-87.

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The unbanked are not financially inactive and neither do they consume all of their income. One of the reasons financial inclusion has become a policy priority is because of the negative macro-economic consequences of the informal sector, which includes an informal financial system and informal trade. Informal Cross Border Trade (ICBT) is prevalent in Africa and particularly in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) region. This has negative impact on trade and other macro statistics for member economies and the region as a whole. Financial inclusion is a possible channel towards formalisation of these firms. The paper further discusses the role of developments in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in reaching out to the financially excluded. Trend analysis shows a strong correlation between developments in ICT and Intra-Regional Trade in COMESA. The paper is a preliminary, non-technical discussion.

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