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Promoting Financial Inclusion in Africa: The Two Ambiguities

Ayoki, Milton (2009): Promoting Financial Inclusion in Africa: The Two Ambiguities. Published in:


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This paper reviews the African experience in fostering financial inclusion. It examines two aspects of financial inclusion—access by enterprises and households to affordable and appropriate formal financial services and the actual usage of financial services and products, how this has been helped with financial deepening. Empirical evidence does not point to a clear, definite relationship between financial deepening and access to affordable financial services or usage of financial services. This underscores the importance of paying attention to all dimensions of financial inclusions and innovations that meet the firms and households’ needs. Financial inclusion is part of the solution to the serious problem of financial access/usage gaps that exist in many African countries, but not of itself a panacea.

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