Women’s Digital Financial Inclusion Global Event, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

From the 13th to the 15th of March 2024, Tanzania participated in the Women’s Digital Financial Inclusion Global Event held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) facilitated and provided financial support to the Tanzania team to Ethiopia. The event focused on enhancing women’s digital financial inclusion through gender-intentional policies and collaborations. This initiative was part of a broader effort that includes the FinEquity Africa annual convening, designed to tackle the intersection of social norms, gender dynamics, and climate change, and their collective impact on financial inclusion for women.

The Women’s Digital Financial Inclusion Global Event is a significant gathering that focuses on promoting and advancing digital financial inclusion for women around the world. It brings together experts, policymakers, industry leaders, and advocates to discuss strategies, share best practices, and collaborate on initiatives to empower women economically through digital financial services.

Tanzania’s participation in the event highlights its commitment to promoting gender equality, advancing women’s economic empowerment and fostering women’s financial inclusion within the country. It signifies recognition of the importance of leveraging technology and digital solutions to provide women with access to financial services, resources, and opportunities. It also offers an opportunity to learn from other countries and organizations, fostering cross-border collaboration and knowledge exchange.

During the event, representatives from Tanzania engaged in various activities such as panel discussions, presentations, workshops, and networking sessions. Tanzania participants had a chance to share various initiatives, policies, and success stories related to digital financial inclusion for women. Additionally, they had a chance to learn about global and regional trends, and successful strategies employed by other countries in this field.

Discussions centered on identifying and addressing the specific barriers and challenges faced by women in accessing digital financial services. It is critical that issues on affordability, digital literacy, connectivity, legal and regulatory barriers, and socio-cultural norms that may hinder women’s participation are addressed. In the African context, there is a connection between social norms, gender dynamics, and climate change which manifests a multifaceted landscape that significantly impacts women’s financial inclusion. Some social norms have a direct correlation with women’s roles and responsibilities and therefore limit their access to economic opportunities. Concurrently, climate change amplifies existing vulnerabilities, disproportionately affecting women who are often responsible for securing food, water, and energy resources in their families. Recognizing these connections is vital in establishing strategies that empower women economically, foster climate resilience, and finding ways to address gender norms.

More importantly, it was agreed that expanding access to mobile technology and digital solutions can significantly enhance women’s digital financial inclusion. Mobile money platforms, digital wallets, and other digital innovations can provide women with convenient, secure, and affordable access to financial services, bridging the gap between formal financial systems and underserved women.