It is a well-accepted fact that financial inclusion is a vital part of reducing poverty worldwide. Whether allowing people to open a bank account or providing access credit, financial services are key to economic growth and wealth creation. Two billion people do not have access to high-quality, affordable financial services. Additionally, there are 200 million small and medium-sized enterprises worldwide that have no access to formal financial services.
The Brookings Institution’s Financial and Digital Inclusion Project assesses access and usage of affordable financial services in a broad range of geographically, politically, and economically diverse emerging economies. Percentage scores on the latest report were based on four dimensions of financial inclusion: country commitment to addressing the issue, mobile phone capacity, regulatory environment and adoption of selected traditional and digital financial services. Kenya ranks first, with South Africa and Uganda tying for third, and Rwanda coming in fourth.