Egypt’s first financial inclusion conference, “Towards Greater Inclusion to Financial and Governmental Services,” has begun. It has been organized by Fawry, Egypt’s leading nationwide Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment (EBPP) platform.
The conference will explore the best ways in which financial and governmental services can be extended to micro enterprises and Egypt’s most vulnerable, a process that Fawry believes is integral to facilitating the engagement of the informal sector in the State’s system and spreading social justice to all socio-economic classes.
“We at Fawry believe that increased financial inclusion, which extends to Egypt’s most needy as well as the country’s many micro enterprises, is crucial for the spread of social justice and increasing their integration within the state system,” said Ashraf Sabry, CEO of Fawry. “The challenge of financial inclusion requires out-of-the-box thinking, and we think that today’s conference is an ideal vehicle for promoting and fostering the thinking needed to generate financial inclusion solutions.”
Given Egypt’s embrace of mobile and internet technologies it is ripe for a rapid expansion of financial inclusion. However, such an expansion would require Egyptian authorities to revisit the existing legal frameworks so that they permit the use of financial inclusion tools such as banking agents.
The conference, which is held in partnership with MasterCard and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), will feature a number of speeches and panel discussions by numerous experts from a diverse range of countries that have similar socio-economic conditions as Egypt and have successfully carried out various financial inclusion experiments in the past. Among the distinguished list of international experts are several from fellow developing markets such as Denise Diaz of the Central Bank of Brazil, Carlos Marmolejo from Consar in Mexico, and Abhishek Sinha from EKO in India.
“We are fortunate to have such a diverse group of experts from developing markets such as India, Mexico and Brazil, who can share the insights that they have gained from their experience in their own countries,” said Sabry. “By examining the successes and failures of countries with similar socio-economic conditions as Egypt, we can develop an ideal strategy for improving financial inclusion in our own country.”
The one-day conference is under the auspices of the Egyptian Minister of Communications & Information Technology, and is sponsored by AlexBank, Mobinil, Etisalat, Vodafone, the MetLife Foundation, and Tanmeyah.