Web Chat: Financial Inclusion in MENA
The end of 2011 was undeniably a momentous time across the Arab World with uprisings first emerging in Tunisia and Egypt and then spreading to Libya, Yemen, and Syria. Expectations of 2012 were high as old regimes were discarded and new governments brought with them hopes of more equitable societies and opportunities for all, including in particular the region’s large numbers of young people. New governments have been scrambling to enact reforms that will appease the hopes of the now vocal and restless street, while trying to create democracies in a region with limited experience in democratic processes. So to say the least, it has been a tumultuous year. But little by little there is progress across many fronts – political, economic and judicial. At the forefront of these reforms is the need for inclusive processes and outcomes, and financial inclusion is increasingly seen as part of the solution toward that end.
In a recent blog post, the CGAP regional team assessed financial inclusion progress made in 2012 in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and outlined their expectations for 2013. Michael Tarazi and Nadine Chehade continued the conversation around financial inclusion in the Arab World by taking your questions during a live web chat on January 16, 2013. The transcript of this chat follows.