Only 20% of Arabs have access to formal financial services: Jouahri

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Only 20 percent of adults in the Arab world have access to formal financial services, said Abdellatif Jouahri, chairman of the Council of Arab Central Banks and Monetary Agencies’ Governors, on Thursday.

Speaking at the 9th Global Policy Forum, organised by the International Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) in Sharm El-Sheikh, Jouahri stressed the importance of strengthening financial inclusion in the Arab region to help combat poverty and enhance economic growth.

“The financial inclusion has become a key factor in achieving economic success and social justice,” Jouahri, who is also governor of Bank Al-Maghrib, said.

Since 2007, the Union of Arab Banks has endorsed the financial inclusion as a core element in the development of the financial sector, the banking official added.

The AFI has approved April 27th as Arab Financial Inclusion Day in an earlier meeting in Rabat, Jouahri said.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi inaugurated earlier the 9th Global Policy Forum, which brings together some 95 states and 119 international financial institutions.

AFI has said the forum is the “largest and most comprehensive event” it has ever held.

The gathering will introduce “unique financial inclusion initiatives undertaken by members in the Arab region,” AFI said on its website.

An initiative on financial inclusion in the Arab world is expected to be inked.

The official forum was preceded by three days of AFI meetings in Sharm El-Sheikh, including AFI policy working groups meetings and the AFI annual general meeting.