Tuesday, October 15, 2013

FEEEDS @ the World Bank Annual Mtgs: Focus on Financial & Techonology Inclusion

A FEEEDS series:
The FEEEDS Advocacy Initiative participated in a panel for Civil Society organized by Operation Hope during the World Bank Annual Meetings Oct 8-12. Under the FEEEDS umbrella, Dr. Sanders made the following key points highlighting and underscoring that financial inclusion needs to be broader than just providing banking services to the 2.5 billion people in the world who are not connected to the global financial system, or linked via digital technology to be included in services that help them improve their quality of life or enhance their employment or business capabilities-- even in the informal sector. 
Hence Dr. Sanders highlighted her view and simplified and broad definition of financial inclusion -- what it should do and a way forward in addressing e-empowerment and global dignity:
Financial and Technology Inclusion for FEEEDS Advocacy Initiative means: Access, Education, Acceptability, Ease of Usability to interact – based on needs or what one does for a living -- with the global financial system or via the digital technology world. This is key particularly for rural areas/at risk urban communities, youth, women, persons with disabilities, and the elderly.
What does this do:

       Provides global dignity, empowerment, improved quality of life, hope, emotional satisfaction

Who does financial and technology inclusion address:
  • Initially and globally, the 2.5 billion working age people who are currently excluded & adolescents so they don’t add to the 2.5 billion.
  • We need to begin to education adolescents and teenagers on inclusion early so they do not become part of the cycle of exclusion and add to the current 2.5 billion currently not connected.
What are the game changers:

For advancing financial and technology inclusion and also addressing the points of: access, education/accessibility, ease of usability? Mobile Phones/Digital Technologies.  Why? 
  •  1 billion mobile phones in the world in 2000; over 6 billion in 2013, of which nearly 5 billion are in the developing world. Applications or “apps” also have exploded in the last 5 years, with approximately 30 billion "apps“ downloaded in 2011. 
  • Africa is ahead as most wireless Continent (736 million mobiles by end of 2013, 100 million in Nigeria), China nearly 8 million & India 7 million new mobile phone users per month.
What financial & technology inclusion doesn’t do:

They don't address income disparity. Africa, Latin America, Asia, have greatest income disparity, with South Africa reportedly leading the way as the country with the world’s great inequitable income distribution (CCTV-news).  

Why is financial & technology inclusion as game changers important?
According to a 2005 London Business School Report – in addition to improving quality of life when 10 people out of 100 use a mobile phone GDP rises about .59 percent.
Financial and technology inclusion also has to come with job creation and entrepreneurship development in order to reach true global dignity as it is defined by Operation Hope.