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Kenya leads countries providing affordable financial services to the vulnerable

The top score is primarily “due to the country’s considerable rates of mobile money adoption among low-income adults and women.”/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 13 – Kenya has for the third year in a row topped the list of countries advancing access to and usage of affordable financial services among underprivileged populations.

A report by the Brookings Financial and Digital Inclusion project gives Kenya an average rating of 86 percent out of the four measurements including scoring 78 percent in the adoption of financial services, the highest in the 26 countries sampled.

The top score, the report states, is primarily “due to the country’s considerable rates of mobile money adoption among low-income adults and women.”

Unique mobile subscribership stands at 60 percent of Kenya’s 27 million adult population while financial account ownership among women is at a record 71 percent.

Kenya, however, needs to enhance digital infrastructure to mitigate network challenges at agent location, along with network outages.

The report finds that countries are increasingly seeing financial inclusion as a key ingredient for sustainable development, with fintech providing a tremendous opportunity to accelerate progress toward financial inclusion.

Kenya needs to “promote financial education and capability initiatives among underserved populations to broaden and deepen financial inclusion.”

Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, South Africa and Uganda rounds up the top six countries in the ranking.

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