Webinar Series: Unlocking Women's Financial Inclusion in Africa


16 October 2020 9:00 am - 10:30 am EDT
This event has concluded.

CGAP, in partnership with Cenfri and Afriqinsights and with support from SECO, facilitated a two-part webinar series focused on surfacing and dissecting practical solutions to addressing the gap in women’s financial inclusion in Africa. The series focused on learning from Ghana's digital financial services gender gap. Below please find videos and presentations for each session and detailed panelist bios.

Webinar 1: Understanding the Gender Gap

October 9, 2020

Ghana’s ecosystem for digital financial services has grown rapidly and contributed to a spike in financial inclusion. According to the Findex, 58 percent of adults in Ghana now have access to a financial account. Yet there remains a significant gender gap in the uptake and usage of digital services. For instance, the gap in access to accounts is 8 percentage points. To better understand factors contributing to the gender gap, CGAP engaged AfriqInsights to review available data, engage financial service providers and conduct focus group discussions with women to provide insights and deliver actionable recommendations.

In this webinar, panelists Alicia Torné (Afriqinsights), Buddy Bukuru (CGAP), Esther Dassanou (Affirmative Action for Women in Africa), Clarissa Kudowor  (Bank of Ghana), and Mercy Munoni (Ministry of Finance, Zambia) explored the results of this 2020 study and presented regulators and providers with a clear, data-driven picture of the issues that different segments of women in Ghana and Africa more broadly are facing when it comes to digital financial inclusion. 

Webinar Resource 

Presentation >>

Webinar 2: Practical Ways to Better Serve Female Customers

October 16, 2020

After deepening our understanding of the financial inclusion gender gaps in Ghana and Africa more broadly in our first webinar,  the second webinar focused on how providers can better serve female customers. A panel consisting of Chernay Johnson (Cenfri), Sandra Orgu (Access Bank, Nigeria), Carmia Norton (JUMO, South Africa), Steve Shema (Exuus, Rwanda), and Emmanuel Akin-Awokoya (InvestXD, Ghana) unpacked the benefits and challenges involved in various approaches to better understanding and serving female customers, with an emphasis on the collection and use of data. 

Webinar Resource 

Presentation >>

Panelist Bios

Alicia Torne

Alicia Torné | Director, Afriqinsights

Alicia Torné is a director at Afriqinsights, bringing extensive international exposure and a broad experience in Management Consulting across Sub-Saharan Africa, South and Central America and Europe. Some of her recent work in Africa has focused on providing data, insights and actionable recommendations for decision makers to bridge the knowledge gap in the cross-cutting sectors of Financial Inclusion and DFS - which hold a tremendous power to make a decisive impact on people’s livelihoods and wellbeing.

Buddy Bukuru

Buddy Bukuru | Financial Sector Specialist, CGAP

Buddy Buruku is a digital financial services (DFS) adviser based in Ghana where she is CGAP’s in-country lead. Ms. Buruku works on the use of DFS to drive Ghana’s cash-lite agenda and on DFS market development as a tool for financial inclusion. She specializes in the digitization of payments in agriculture and in the generation of national data on the status of financial inclusion. Insights from this work are being used by the central bank, the Ministry of Finance, and industry to promote DFS.

Esther Dassanou

Esther Dassanou | Manager, Affirmative Action for Women in Africa

Esther Dassanou currently serves as the manager of the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa at the African Development Bank but was previously with the International Finance Corporation responsible for mainstreaming gender in IFC's Africa MSME program. She also previously worked at the Corporate Council on Africa focused on increasing trade linkages between U.S. and African companies and identifying finance mechanisms for African SMEs.

Clarissa Kudowor

Clarissa Kudowor | Assistant Director, Bank of Ghana

Clarissa Kudowor is an assistant director at Bank of Ghana with over 25 years of experience in central banking. She is also a fellow at the Fletcher Leadership School for Financial Inclusion. She has served as the co-chair and chairman of the Digital Financial Services Working Group (DFSWG) of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion and is currently the gender focal point for the DFSWG.

Mercy Munoni

Mercy Munoni | Assistant Director, Ministry of Finance, Zambia

Mercy Munoni is currently the assistant director in the Ministry of Finance, Zambia where she covers financial sector policies and management. Previously she worked with the World Bank Group as a financial sector specialist and also in Zambia's Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry.


Chernay Johnson

Chernay Johnson | Engagement Manager, Cenfri

Chernay Johnson is an engagement manager in the Digital World team of Cenfri. She concurrently serves as a Governance Committee Member of the Bureau for Economic Research (BER) in a non-remunerative capacity. Prior to joining Cenfri, Chernay worked as a professional economist at the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), Credit Suisse Securities, and spent time consulting on a strategic capital-markets project as a visiting researcher to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and Capital Markets Cooperative Research Centre (CMCRC) in Sydney. In recognition of her impactful economic research on sub-Saharan Africa, the Financial Mail ranked her as one of the top three young analysts in South Africa in 2016.

Sandra Orgu

Sandra Orgu | Partnerships Manager, W Initiative, Access Bank, Nigeria

Sandra Orgu is the partnerships manager for the W Initiative, Access Bank Nigeria. The W initiative is a blend of existing banking products and services bundled to effectively meet the present-day financial and lifestyle needs of women in identified sub-segments, as well as provide them with a complete and rewarding banking experience. Ms. Orgu also has a background in public relations and journalism.

Carmia Norton

Carmia Norton | Head of Customer Success, JUMO, South Africa

Carmia Lureman-Norton is a customer experience professional (CCXP) who works with high-growth businesses to build customer capabilities for scale. She has over 10 years’ experience building customer-centered competencies and operations in some of South Africa’s most successful scale-ups. Carmia developed the CRM programmes, customer support and experience operations for leading brands across diverse industries, including finance and retail. Having experienced first-hand the ability of tech-enabled businesses to rapidly build and grow solutions to societal problems, she’s excited about the opportunities at JUMO to reimagine the delivery of financial services in challenging customer contexts.

Steve Sherma

Steve Shema |  CEO, Exuus, Rwanda

Steve Shema is the founder and CEO of Exuus Ltd. As the CEO of Exuus, Shema coordinated the first ever countrywide survey on saving groups also known as VSLAs (Village Savings and Loan Associations) in Rwanda in partnership with the Central Bank (BNR), the Ministry of Finance and Access to Finance Rwanda. The findings of the survey informed the creation of SAVE, a digital platform for saving groups which provides a digital and decentralized ledger to SGs members. SAVE is currently being used by over 35,000 users in Rwanda and averaging more than $10,000 in monthly savings. Currently, Steve is busy working on scaling-up SAVE in Rwanda and beyond with a target to hit 1 million saving groups by 2023 across the sub-Saharan Africa.

Emmanuel Akin-Awokoya

Emmanuel Akin-Awokoya, CEO, InvestXD, Ghana

Emmanuel Akin-Awokoya, the co-founder of InvestXD/Noni, is dedicated to building technology that promotes financial inclusion, Internet accessibility, improved educational opportunities, and economic wealth. Selected as a “Top 50 Innovators” at the 2018 African Innovation Summit, he is a graduate of the MEST Africa accelerator program for tech entrepreneurs and has an extensive background in telecommunications and engineering, including work with MTN Nigeria and Huawei Technology Limited. He is a member of Multinational Internet and Telecommunication organizations such as ICANN, ISOC, IETF, CTO, and IEEE and contributes to the standardization of the Internet. InvestXD won the second edition of the Data4FI Hackathon.