Financial Inclusion in the MENA region (FIMENA)
Financial exclusion of individuals and SMEs is one of the greatest socioeconomic challenges facing societies, since financial inclusion is both recognized as a driver for several SDGs and an important prerequisite for reducing poverty and increasing prosperity. And the MENA region has immense potential to include millions of people as well as businesses through appropriate financial services, thus promoting sustainable economic development.
However, financial inclusion is a very broad and multi-layered field of action, which is why the efforts of different actors must be intertwined in order to achieve the goal of inclusive financial systems.
In this sense, the FIMENA project of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, together with various partner institutions, supports three major regional networks to improve access to financial services for SMEs and startups in the MENA region:
The Financial Inclusion in the Arab Region Initiative (FIARI) is a network of 22 Arab central banks and other monetary and regulatory authorities launched in 2017 by the Arab Monetary Fund (AMF), the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), and GIZ with support from the World Bank. Through FIARI, policymakers and regulators join forces to develop strategies and drive reforms that improve access to responsible financial services for financially excluded people and financially underserved businesses across the region. The goal is to boost policymaking in financial inclusion for sustainable growth and shared prosperity in the region in line with the United Nations SDGs.
The Euro-Mediterranean Guarantee Network (EMGN) is a platform of regional cooperation between guarantee schemes from the EU and the countries of the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean. The network was launched in 2019 together with the Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association (EMEA), the European Institute for the Mediterranean (IEMED) and under the auspices of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) to improve the performance of guarantee schemes in the region. The aim is to improve the creditworthiness of SMEs through loan guarantees, thus promoting their economic development and, consequently, that of the region.
The Mediterranean Business Angel Investors Network (Med Angels) is a federation of local business angel investment networks from the Mediterranean countries, launched in 2019 together with the Alexandria Angel Network (Alex Angels), the Dutch Humanist Institute for Cooperation with Developing Countries (HIVOS) and the US non-profit organization VentureWell. The goal is to provide local startups with better access to early-stage venture capital by enabling and promoting joint cross-border investments in the Mediterranean region through Med Angels.
Together with its national partner organizations and international affiliates, the regional FIMENA project uncovers pathways for sustainable economic development and re-enforces good policymaking to help local communities and businesses in MENA realize their socio-economic potential.
The FIMENA project thus seamlessly builds on GIZ’s long experience of 50+ years in financial systems development for stability and inclusion.
Reach out to FIMENA if you are interested to learn more about our actions.