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Promoting formal financial inclusion in Africa: An institutional re-examination of the policies with a case study of Nigeria

Franklin N Ngwu

Journal of Banking Regulation, 2015, vol. 16, issue 4, 306-325

Abstract: Irrespective of the numerous regulations and over 100 years of existence, the financial sectors in most Sub-Saharan African countries have remained undeveloped and highly fragmented into informal and formal sub-sectors with very limited use of the latter. As an effective functioning financial system is fundamental to economic development of Sub-Saharan Africa, this article re-examined the policies that have been used to promote financial inclusion. Using Nigeria as a case study and focusing on her 2012 National Financial Inclusion Strategy, it is argued that the strategy like previous policies will achieve limited success due to the neo-liberal ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach of the policies, which ignores fundamental institutional peculiarities of the society (Nigeria). To create an effective financial inclusion, there is a fundamental need for a restructuring of the policies and regulations to have a deep appreciation of both the formal and informal institutional peculiarities of Sub-Saharan African countries.

Date: 2015
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