Sub-Saharan Africa is home to 60 percent of the world’s uncultivated arable land. Despite the potential, Africa’s farms produce, on average, much less per hectare than farms in many other countries. As a result, more than 200 million individuals, almost two thirds of the entire U.S. population, are chronically undernourished. And, as we have seen, the majority of those affected are living in rural areas where the small farm is their livelihood.
The drive to universal financial inclusion took a big step forward in 2015. The World Bank’s Global Findex report told us that the number of people in the world without access to any form of financial services had fallen by 20 percent in the past three years, to two billion. That is still a large number of poor people looking to benefit from the financial products and services that people in wealthier countries take for granted, but it shows that efforts to advance financial inclusion are paying off.
At The MasterCard Foundation, we believe that a key element in enabling more poor people to be financially included is for financial service providers to truly understand the needs and desires of the economically disadvantaged. More than designing products and services that they hope might appeal to every segment of the population, banks and other financial institutions could expand their client base by developing products and services that they know will be of use to poor people.
A month from today, over 300 leaders advancing financial inclusion globally will come together in Cape Town. On their minds will be one thing–how can we, as providers, donors, academics, consultants, and support organizations, ensure that poor, excluded clients have access to and use financial services that enable them to improve their lives.
The two-day MasterCard Foundation Symposium on Financial Inclusion is all about delivering client value. In an earlier blog post, we spoke about the first day of the Symposium. On the second day, we’ll ask the difficult questions that keep us up at night: Read More
This interview with Ann Miles, Director of Financial Inclusion at The MasterCard Foundation, was conducted by Rahim Kanani and originally published on Trust.org
“Greater financial inclusion is correlated with higher living standards, better health outcomes, higher education levels, and an overall improvement in well-being,” explained Ann Miles, Director of Financial Inclusion at The MasterCard Foundation. In an interview tied to the second annual MasterCard Foundation Symposium on Financial Inclusion, we discussed the foundation’s approach to financial inclusion, their efforts and impact on the ground thus far, what it means to put clients at the center, and much more.
In a session moderated by Matthew Bishop of the Economist, Kamal Qadir of bKash, Stephen Peachey of the World Savings and Retail Banking Institute and Greta Bull of IFC talk about the future role of financial inclusion.
Day two of #SoFI2014 has just finished and once again, there’s a lot to report from the day’s keynotes, panels and, of course, practical, hands-on workshops.
The Foundation’s own Ann Miles and Iqbal Nadir of MIT announced the launch of a new competition to encourage innovative practices that encourage further customer-centricity in the world of financial inclusion.