Egypt’s central bank wins two AFI global financial inclusion awards

Egypt’s central bank has won two won two of the five AFI Global Alliance for Financial Inclusion Awards, on the sidelines of AFI’s 13th annual conference in the Philippines.

The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) has won the Global Youth Financial Inclusion Award and the Technical Leadership Award in the Arab region, in recognition of its outstanding contributions for promoting financial inclusion and supporting economic empowerment for individuals and businesses. The CBE was also honoured for reaching the final qualifier stage of the Maya Declaration Commitments Award, which was awarded for demonstrating commitment to financial inclusion.

Awarding the CBE for the fourth consecutive year comes as a result of the significant support provided by various state institutions concerned with financial inclusion as well as the fruitful collaboration with all stakeholders on both international and local levels. Such collaborations had a remarkable impact on achieving recognised results and reflected the magnitude of the efforts exerted to support Egypt’s Vision 2030, particularly with the provision of digital financial and banking services to all segments of society, which will positively affect financial inclusion rates.

For the first award, the Global Youth Financial Inclusion Award, the bank was commended for its achievements in promoting financial inclusion for the youth category that makes up over 50 percent of the financial inclusion target population in Egypt.

The CBE supported numerous projects and initiatives targeting youth and issued a regulatory framework to support youth financial inclusion. This framework includes permitting the opening of bank accounts from the age of 16, a simplified Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations, the facilitation of opening Economic Activity Accounts for businesses without a commercial registry or tax card. It also launched electronic financial products and conducting financial literacy campaigns in schools and universities. The CBE provided services and support for entrepreneurs, including non-financial services.

The CBE was granted the Technical Leadership Award on the Arab regional level for the distinguished technical expertise contributed by Khaled Bassiouny, general manager of the Financial Inclusion Department. Bassiouny was praised for his technical contribution in the various events of the Alliance, conferences, workshops, and training sessions with the participation of member countries. His efforts also include delivering case studies on specialised technical topics related to financial inclusion, such as financial inclusion for women, youth, and residents in rural areas, as well as his active participation in technical working groups, including the Financial Inclusion Strategies and Peer Learning working group.

The CBE also reached the final qualifier stage among five other nominated countries for the Maya Declaration Commitment Award. This award recognises the fulfillment of commitments in the field of financial inclusion and poverty alleviation, through moral pledges determined by AFI members annually, and regularly updating their implementation progress towards achieving these pledges, until full implementation.

Those commitments include; reducing the gender gap in providing financial services, increasing the rate of financial inclusion for youth, and promoting financial literacy, among others. The award was named after the city of Maya, in Mexico, where this initiative was launched.

Established in 2008, AFI includes in its membership over 86 financial institutions, central banks, and supervisory authorities from 82 countries. In 2013, the CBE joined AFI.  The Alliance aims to develop the tools utilised to promote financial inclusion, exchange technical and practical experiences between countries, and support the formulation and implementation of financial inclusion policies and strategies.

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