With 1.4 billion people still excluded from the formal financial system, leaders of central banks, ministries of finance, and financial regulators from around the world are convening in the Philippines to discuss how to make financial products and services safe, accessible, and affordable for all.
AFI members have brought over 840 million people into the financial system through enlightened national policies and strategies on financial inclusion. I Photo: Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI)
About 700 delegates from over 70 countries are participating in the 2023 AFI Global Policy Forum, co-hosted by the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), the world's leading organization on financial inclusion policy and regulation, and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
"In the fifteen years since AFI was established, with substantial support from the BSP, our members have brought over 840 million people into the financial system through enlightened national policies and strategies on financial inclusion," said Dr. Alfred Hannig, AFI Executive Director.
"However, a quarter of adults remain excluded and vulnerable. By convening the global AFI Network in Manila, we can galvanize efforts to achieve full inclusion that leaves no one behind," he explained.
BSP Governor Eli M. Remolona, Jr. stated, "Given the formidable challenges facing the world today, there is a compelling need for us to continue sharing, supporting, and learning from one another on how we can lift more people out of poverty through financial inclusion."
"With the continued support of our colleagues, partners, and stakeholders here and overseas, we at the BSP will persist in helping to improve the lives of the unserved, underserved, and unreached," the Governor added.
Discussions at the 2023 AFI Global Policy Forum cover a wide range of critical issues, including the disruptive potential of digital technology, the need for inclusive green finance, the persistent gender gap, the necessity to support young entrepreneurs, and the role of financial inclusion in uplifting forcibly displaced people.
The winners of the 2023 AFI Global Financial Inclusion Awards will be announced tomorrow.
Among the recognitions to be conferred is the Financial Inclusion Innovation Award, which honors the memory and legacy of the late BSP Governor Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr., a founding member of AFI and a global champion of innovation and inclusion.
AFI is the world's foremost organization on financial inclusion policy and regulation.
Owned and led by member central banks and financial regulatory institutions, it was founded in 2008 to assist policymakers in promoting financial inclusion. Through AFI's support, countries worldwide have successfully developed over 900 policy approaches that promote financial inclusion while maintaining safety and stability.