Ethiopia vows to expand accessibility to financial services
APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) - Ethiopia on Tuesday has launched a National Financial Inclusion Strategy to expand access and usage of affordable and high quality financial products and services for all people.
According to the World Bank Survey (Findex2014), only 22 percent of adults have transaction accounts in regulated financial institutions in Ethiopia, lower than compared to Sub-Saharan Africa countries, which is at 34 percent on average.
The strategy, to be implemented over the coming five years, would mainly focus on expanding financial institutions in the rural parts of the country and increasing the number of transaction accounts from 22 percent now to 60 percent.
Teklewold Atnafu, Governor of the National Bank of Ethiopia (NEB), said usage of regulated financial service is at low level in Ethiopia due to lack of modern payment infrastructures, adequate service and access points, strong financial consumer protection framework and financial capability.
Atnafu attributed the low performance in the sector to lack of finance and related infrastructures, community awareness and financial security, low quality of products and services.
The financial strategy is expected to address the problems by expanding financial infrastructures, mobile banking, and money transfer technologies.
The Governor said the strategy is a turning point for realizing financial products and services nationally.
Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen said it is difficult to think of universal change in financial inclusiveness without inclusive financial products and services in the country.
The strategy is paradigm shift in the financial sector as it is aimed at effectively addressing the gaps in quality financial product and services, he added.
The strategy approved by the Council of Ministers last year is prepared by the National Council for Financial Inclusion with the financial support of World Bank.