Switzerland, BCEAO support financial inclusion in the UEMOA area

Switzerland is partnering with the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) to support the implementation of a regional financial inclusion strategy in the UEMOA area. The two partners aim to develop regional financial education programmes and targeted information campaigns, in particular for women, youth and rural populations. In particular, they plan to integrate financial education modules into school and university programmes. A mapping study with disaggregated data on the current demand and offers of financial services in the eight UEMOA member countries will help officials design policies, innovative tools and financial inclusion programmes. The five-year funding convention, worth EUR 5.7 million, was signed on 13 May at the BCEAO headquarters in Dakar during a meeting between Swiss Ambassador Marion Weichelt Krupski and BCEAO Governor Tiémoko Meyliet Koné. Switzerland will cover two-thirds of the costs (~ EUR 3.8 million), while the remainder (~ EUR 1.9 million) will be covered by BCEAO resources. Despite the progress West Africa’s has made over the past 20 years, financial inclusion rates in the region remain the weakest in the world. The vast majority of West Africans do not have a bank account or use mobile banking.