Participants at the Brazzaville conference parted company with the conclusion that governments have to embrace new information and communication technologies as a way out.
Bankers, micro-finance specialists, economists and the academia have parted company in Brazzaville Congo after a busy day full of brainstorming on how to push through the concept of financial inclusion in Central Africa. The Brazzaville conference on “Finance For All: Promoting Financial Inclusion in Central Africa” was organized by the Bank of Central African States, BEAC, and the International Monetary Fund, IMF, with the support of the government of Congo.
Knowing that the bank cannot be deployed to every part of the region where we find persons, panelist and participants at the conclave were unanimous that telecom sector was the recourse. It has reached a certain level of penetration whereby every living creature where ever heshe finds hisherself has access to mobile network. The Airtel Money Director, Martin Kingue Etame, told Cameroon Tribune that the sector was offering support to banks in order to ensure that people who find themselves where there is no banking institution can use their mobile telephone to get access to some banking services. He observed that technologies increase bank penetration and help people to subscribe to the services.
The Governor of BEAC, Lucas Abaga Nchama, in his closing statement preceding a press conference noted that the bankarisation rate in Central Africa was 18 per cent, as against 60 per cent in Angola and 80 per cent in North Africa, South Africa and the Mauritius. He challenged the private sector to join governments to develop ICT infrastructure, suitable to promoting innovative banking in the likes of mobile banking and e-payment. He invited governments to put in place follow-up mechanisms that will ensure continuity of financial inclusion. The need to reinforce accountability and the respect of engagements on the protection of clients was recommended. Meanwhile, Lucas Abaga Nchama stressed that the banking sector must be more client-friendly by simplifying loan instruments like collaterals.
Source : Cameroon Tribune