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National Conference on Making the Financial Sector Work for Women

March 28, 2024
Sheraton Addis Ababa

Ethiopia Women Financial Inclusion World Bank

Ethiopia is facing a growing gender gap in financial inclusion. Women are much less likely to own a bank account, for example – a divide which has been widening steadily over the past decade and is now one of the largest in the region. Other indicators such as access to credit or the use of new forms of payment paint a similar picture. This unfortunate trend casts a shadow over an otherwise uplifting trajectory of regulatory reform, increased competition and technological change for the finance sector.

Closing the gender gap in access to finance is a key priority for the National Bank of Ethiopia. Ethiopia’s National Financial Inclusion Strategy (2021-25) has set ambitious targets in this regard, such as doubling the number of transaction accounts held by women. An increasingly dynamic financial sector, the arrival of digital financial services and the spread of mobile money make this objective more achievable than ever. However, it will take decisive action by financial institutions to realize that promise.

The World Bank’s Africa Gender Innovation Lab (GIL) is equally committed to this objective. GIL’s Innovations in Financing Women Entrepreneurs (IFWE) initiative has partnered with more than a dozen banks and MFIs in Ethiopia to develop new financial products, find ways to boost women’s careers in finance, and conduct rigorous research on the topic. The result is a wealth of evidence on ‘what works’ in women’s financial inclusion, both in Ethiopia and beyond.

On March 28, we invite you to join us for a day of learning and action on women’s financial inclusion. Hear from industry leaders, international experts and regulatory practitioners about innovative financial services and the latest research on closing relevant gender gaps. Share your own institution’s experience in better serving women customers. We look forward to welcoming you, and we count on you to help us make Ethiopia’s financial sector work for women.

Mamo Mihretu
Governor, National Bank of Ethiopia

Michael O’Sullivan
Head of the Africa Gender Innovation Lab, World Bank

Sheraton Addis Ababa

  • Thursday, March 28: 9.00 am – 4.30 pm