This Midi allowed us to understand why cybersecurity is a key issue for the inclusive finance sector and its future development. Thank you to the speakers and the 314 online participants.
For more than a decade now, there has been a wide-ranging debate on how the digitisation process, particularly in Africa, is proving to be a valuable lever for increasing financial inclusion. The African continent has been particularly dynamic and rapid in the adoption of digital solutions for people that before had no access to formal financial instruments. The reasons for this are varied and certainly, the arrival of relatively low-cost digital solutions capable of filling a vacuum and serving a population that is on average very young (77% of the population is under 35 years old), are all elements that have favoured this trend.
But if it is true, as the Mastercard Foundation and IFC wrote a few years ago*, that “Financial inclusion is one of Africa’s great success stories over the past decade” thanks to the digitisation process, the future of this success story will also depend on the attention and resources that will be devoted to the issue of cybersecurity.
When we think of cybersecurity, we usually have a tendency to pay a lot of attention to the big players, but what are the points of attention and concrete actions that microfinance institutions, even the smallest ones, need to consider in order to manage the risks linked to the digitisation of their operations? Essentially, what can an MFI do to reduce its exposure to the risks?
This Midi allowed us to understand why cybersecurity is a key issue for the inclusive finance sector and its future development.
The speakers, Sheila Okiro (African Development Bank) and Jean-Louis Perrier (Suricate Solutions) have extensive experiences on the topic and represent two organisations that have recently launched the African Cybersecurity Resource Center (ACRC) for Financial Inclusion, a continent-wide initiative that aims to strengthen the cyber resilience of the financial system in Africa, secure the fast development of digital financial systems, and ultimately increase financial inclusion on the continent, a key for economic and human development.
Ivo Jeník, Senior Financial Sector Specialist at CGAP concluded the Midi by highlighting the main points that emerged from the discussion.
Discussion was moderated by Matthew Genazzini, Coordinator of the Smallholder Safety Net Up-scaling Programme (SSNUP) at ADA