Sub-Saharan Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa comprises 48 countries and 47% of the people live on less than $1.25 a day (UN 2012). Although recent World Bank estimates confirm a positive declining trend in poverty this is still the highest in the world.

While there is large heterogeneity among countries and sub regions, Africa continues to record strong economic growth overall despite the weaker global economic environment. Financial systems in most countries remain poorly developed relative to other regions with only 24% of the adult population having bank accounts at a formal financial institution which is half the global average. Banks and other deposit-taking institutions, like cooperatives, dominate financial systems in Sub-Saharan Africa with regulated Microfinance Institutions increasingly playing an important role in expanding access to financial services to low-income earners. The last couple of years have also witnessed the emergence of Pan-African banking groups expanding rapidly in the region with significant share of domestic deposits.  This has resulted in increased local competition while infusing new technologies, products, and managerial techniques (FSB, IMF, and WB 2011). Mobile money is increasingly playing a role in expanding access in the region where 16% of adults are reported to use a mobile phone to pay bills or send or receive money compared to a global average of less than 5% (FINDEX 2012).  

In Sub Saharan Africa, CGAP focuses on promoting effective regulation and supervision that supports healthy access to a full range of responsible financial services, working closely together with regional bodies like the BCEAO, BEAC and East Africa Community. It also supports the development of viable business models for financial service delivery using technology with a focus on the West Africa Economic and Monetary Union region, Ghana and South Africa and foster strengthened capacity building through a network of francophone training partners and advice to capacity building facilities. We work closely together with a range of local industry players, CGAP members on the ground (such as AFD, IFAD, IFC, KfW, UKAid, UNCDF and the World Bank) and partners like Making Finance Work for Africa and the MIX. 

Publications

20 June 2018
Across Sub-Saharan Africa, new success stories are playing out, yet little is understood about the approaches many countries in the region have taken to develop inclusive payment ecosystems. CGAP set out to examine pathways to inclusive payment ecosystems in two Sub-Saharan African countries, Tanzania and Ghana, to learn from their experiences.
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English (36 pages)
19 June 2018
This is the story of how the United Nations Mobile Money for the Poor in Uganda worked with a coffee exporter to digitize one of the country’s most important cash crops. Learn about the dynamics of digitizing agricultural value chains and how organizations from different sectors worked to digitize Uganda’s coffee value chain.
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English (44 pages)

From Our Blog

Kenyan smallholder family crowds around a tablet
10 August 2018
What can today’s digital fundraising platforms learn from long-held traditions of giving? We spoke with givers in Kenya to find out.
Ugandan child uses a solar lamp to study at night
01 August 2018
In Africa, some of the most innovative ideas in education financing are coming from an unlikely source - an off-grid solar company.