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Thematic Area:

Financial Inclusion & Microfinance




African Development Bank (AfDB)


Africa and MENA

Country Coverage:           

54 African countries

Project Overview

This Project supported AfDB to design and adopt a bank-wide strategic approach to catalyse access to and usage of financial services targeting the financially underserved in Africa. The strategic approach focused on leveraging digital technologies to reach vulnerable groups such as women at the bottom of the pyramid, small-scale farmers, youth and fragile states.


Frankfurt School’s experts undertook research and provided a  comprehensive report analysing the strategic, operational and  organisational context of financial inclusion in Africa. Moreover, the expert team undertook a series of interviews with relevant departments at AfDB engaged in financial inclusion and with the current Financial Inclusion and Intermediation Division. After the internal consultation, several external stakeholder interviews and a central stakeholder consultation workshop with other international development banks, industry networks and global financial inclusion think tanks took place.

A summary report was delivered to AfDB outlining the strategic approach that should be undertaken to support African governments at the policy level and the private sector to enhance financial inclusion, with a strong focus on strategic digital finance solutions targeting women, micro, small and medium-sized (MSMEs), smallholder farmers and the youth.

Frankfurt School experts also developed a business plan with budgetary resource estimates of AfDB´s actions and a list of recommendations to achieve near-universal financial access for the excluded and underserved populations that includes everyone aged 15 years and above by the year 2025.