Authorities of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) say it will, on Wednesday, July 3, 2019 hold a validation workshop that will bring all national stakeholders together to conclude the formulation of the country’s National Financial Inclusion Strategy 2019-2024, a release from the bank has said.
According to the release, the validation workshop is an important final step in the consultation process that has been taking place over the last several months.
Participants and representatives of all the stakeholder groups that have been involved in the consultation process leading to the formulation of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy will have yet another opportunity to confirm the vision, directions, and actions stipulated in the Strategy.
The stakeholders that have, so far, been involved in the consultation process included commercial banks, microfinance institutions, mobile money operators, regional credit unions, rural community financial institutions, the Liberia Business Association, the ministries of Commerce and Industry and Finance and Development Planning, in addition to the CBL.
A joint technical working group comprising staff of the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning with technical advisory support has been leading the process and activities for the development of the strategy.
The Financial Inclusion Strategy aims to facilitate access to financial services in Liberia via digital financial services. Ultimately, this will enable people anywhere in Liberia to borrow, save, make payments, insure against risk, plan for retirement and, in the process, contribute to poverty alleviation.
Currently, only 35.7 per cent of adult Liberians have accounts with a financial institution, so the National Financial Inclusion Strategy hopes to bring up to 50% of adult Liberians into the mainstream of the financial sector by 2024.
The paucity of financial services, mainly in rural Liberia, has limited access to credit facilities and other financial services to rural Liberians and has disproportionately affected rural women.
The strategy is linked to the government’s Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PADP), especially pillars 2, 3, and 4, which include access to financial services and access to finance; digital financial services; and consumer protection and financial capability.
The validation workshop will be graced by the members of the National Financial Inclusion Steering Committee, including Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Samuel D. Tweah who, along with CBL Executive Governor Nathaniel R. Patray, will make remarks during the workshop.
Other members of the Steering Committee expected to participate are ministers of Commerce and of Education, the Director General of Liberian Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS), the Commissioners General of Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), the Liberia Telecommunication Authority (LTA) and managing director of Libtelco.
Group discussions involving all the stakeholders will place center on the four pillars of the 2019 – 2024 National Financial Inclusion Strategy.