The journey towards achieving gender parity in financial inclusion in Nigeria commenced with the revision of the National financial inclusion in Nigeria in 2018 which identified five key focus groups to target interventions and policies in order to achieve the financial inclusion goal including: women, youth, MSMEs, rural areas and Northern indigenes.
In 2016, Nigeria, along with other member countries of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) committed to the Denarau action plan (DAP) which prescribes halving the global Financial inclusion gender gap by 2021. The DAP outlines ten actions, one of which includes a specific commitment to consider and implement best practices in integrating policies for women’s financial inclusion and gender considerations within national financial inclusion strategies.
Nigeria developed and launched a framework for advancing women’s financial inclusion in September 2020 as a response to DAP.
The framework for advancing women’s financial inclusion in Nigeria identifies eight strategic imperatives (SI) for implementing stakeholders to operationalize, one of which, strategic imperative ‘3’ "Expand delivery channels to service female client’s closer to home", proposes the development of guidelines to encourage gender balance in agent networks. In order to do this, the Central Bank of Nigeria needs a well-articulated strategy which will build on the existing agent banking guidelines and drive coordinated efforts of stakeholders in recognizing the potential of building female agent networks, to drive women’s financial education and build their trust in financial services.
Project objective: Based on a diagnostic study and a use case report, as well as stakeholder engagement (two workshops – on-line and physical respectively) provide:
- Strategy to leverage agent-networks for women’s fnancial inclusion
- Implementation plan for the strategy