Global development institution, International Finance Corporation, IFC has announced an agreement to a value of $1.6 million with Atlantic Financial Group Central and East Africa (AFG C&EA) to expand access to digital financial services for low-income people, small-scale entrepreneurs, and rural populations in Cameroon.
The financial inclusion rate in Cameroon has nearly trebled to 35 percent in 2017 from 12 percent in 2014 but remains below the regional average.
Despite recent progress, most Cameroonians still lack access to regulated financial services such as savings, loans and insurance, which could help them manage their daily financial lives and invest for the future.
Mehita Sylla, IFC Country Manager, Cameroon, said: “Gaining access to formal credit can be catalytic for a small-scale entrepreneur or a small-holder farmer, and the expansion of financial inclusion is a critical component of inclusive economic growth. Digital financial services are becoming increasingly available in Cameroon, but more needs to be done to advance financial inclusion.”
Through this three-year advisory project, IFC will assist AFG C&EA’s digital arm, Digital Business Solution (DBS), to build a robust agent banking network and launch digital savings, loan and insurance products.
Thus, AFG C&EA, which conducts its bank and financial services business in Cameroon through its two subsidiaries Banque Atlantique and Atlantique Assurances, will become a leading integrated digital financial services provider.
Kone Dossongui, President and Chairman of Atlantic Group, said, “This initiative will support emerging entrepreneurs, and help foster the sustainable and inclusive economic growth necessary to tackle today’s challenges and to secure the future of generations to come.
It will pave the way for similar developments by Atlantic Group in other African markets where we operate.”
IFC is committed to bring formal financial services to 600 million people worldwide by 2020 as part of the global efforts to reach universal financial access.
IFC’s Financial Institutions Group advisory supports microfinance institutions, banks, mobile network operators, and payments service providers across Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East to leverage digital technology and innovative business models to advance financial inclusion.