AfDB, MTN Sign $500,000 Deal to Study Women’s Access to Financial Services

The African Development Bank (AFDB) has signed a grant agreement with Y’ello Digital Financial Services (YDFS), a subsidiary of MTN Nigeria, to support a study into the economic, religious, and social barriers to access to finance for women in northern Nigeria.

This research, which includes a feasibility study, design and testing that focuses on both agents and customers, will provide insights into women’s use of mobile money services, and this research will be funded through the Africa Digital Financial Inclusion Facility (ADFI).

Nigeria, the continent’s largest economy, still lacks access to financial services for 55% of its rural population.

The statement states that mobile money adoption is currently at 4% with a ratio of 228.8 agents to 1,000 adults [Political instability and conservative cultural norms in parts of Northern Nigeria are thought to be barriers to women’s access to finance]. In addition, 80% of the agents in the region are men.

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“The African Development Bank, through the Africa Digital Financial Inclusion Facility (ADFI), is delighted to support this project, furthering our work to improve the quality of life for people in Nigeria and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly as relates to poverty, and gender inclusion,” said Stefan Nalletamby, African Development Bank Director of Financial Sector Development.

On behalf of YDFS, Usoro Usoro, Chief Executive Officer, said, “We are truly excited about this partnership with the African Development Bank, and the possibilities for advancing financial inclusion in Nigeria, particularly for the traditionally excluded segment of women in Northern Nigeria.”

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