The Moroccan Central Bank and the Moroccan Ministry of Finance hosted a high-level conference on “Financial Education in the Arab World: Strategies, Implementation, and Impact”. The high-level event was supported by the Arab Monetary Fund, GIZ, the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), the Sanad Fund, and the World Bank.
Five years after the Arab Spring revolutions, policymakers across the Arab World continue to prioritize policies that will create economic and social opportunity for its citizens. This focus is of paramount importance, particularly as regional growth slows down, geopolitical and security concerns, and low commodity prices prompt the need for economic diversification.
Financial inclusion – access and usage of quality financial services including savings, credit, remittances, and insurance delivered in an affordable and sustainable manner – is critical for vulnerable populations to build up assets or manage emergencies, and for small businesses to access working capital, invest productively, and employ more people.
In this spirit, over 150 policymakers – including Central Banks, Ministries of Finance, standard-setting bodies, and technical experts – came together for the Financial Education in the Arab World Conference hosted by the Moroccan Central Bank and the Moroccan Ministry of Finance. Donor partners including the Arab Monetary Fund, GIZ, the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), the Sanad Fund, and the World Bank supported this high level event.
The conference sought to build the capacity of key market actors to promote financially capable communities in the MENA region through presenting technical research and emerging operational best practices globally. The event shared research and data on broad financial inclusion trends in the region as well as provided deep dive sessions on targeted subjects including country-level strategies, digital finance, financial inclusion of vulnerable groups and financial consumer protection.
The participants discussed the specific needs of micro and small entrepreneurs, youth, women and migrants and concluded that a uniform methodology will not satisfy the diverse needs of the different target groups and that methods and instruments, in other words the modes of delivery of financial education, must consider these differences.
An e-book highlighting the key learnings from the event as well as providing additional resources to learn more will be published soon. We will keep you posted.
by Onur Azcan