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Arab Central Banks: We seek to spread digital financial literacy among all segments of society

Coordination with G20 priorities

Promote digital financial inclusion for youth, women, and micro, small and medium enterprises

Encouraging the employment of modern financial technologies to enhance financial inclusion

Give priority to applications and issues related to financial technology

The importance of building a strategy to move to a digital banking system to enhance financial inclusion

Spreading digital financial literacy among all segments of society

The issue of enhancing access to finance and financial services in the Arab countries is receiving great attention from the Board of Governors of Central Banks and Arab Monetary Institutions, in recognition of the potential and significant opportunities that can be achieved through enhancing financial inclusion to support comprehensive and sustainable economic development, face the challenges of unemployment and achieve social justice.

There is no doubt that the current developments and the negative repercussions of the spread of the Corona pandemic have clearly highlighted the great importance of employing modern technologies for the purposes of financial inclusion, and the need to enhance digital financial services and educate their users. The pandemic has strengthened the demand for digital financial services, and made the need to accelerate digital transformation and improve digital financial services. Of great importance in economic policies in the Arab region.

The available statistics highlight the great opportunities inherent in developing digital services, as nearly 85% of adults in the Arab region have a mobile phone, 48% have a mobile phone and can access the electronic network at the same time, 7% have money accounts via mobile phone, and about 33% sent or received digital payments in the previous year, compared to 44% globally.

In this context, the Board of Governors of Central Banks and Arab Monetary Institutions in 2016, in light of the growing need to intensify awareness of the importance of financial inclusion and its interlocutors among all parties in the Arab countries, initiated the adoption of April 27 of each year as an Arab Day for Financial Inclusion. This year it will be titled "The Role of Digital Transformation in Enhancing Financial Inclusion".

It is important on this occasion to emphasize support for the efforts of the international community in promoting financial inclusion, foremost among which is the efforts of the Group of Twenty (G20), which adopted the axis of financial inclusion as one of the main axes to support sustainable development goals and enhance financial stability, as the G20 pays special attention to support the access of youth and women And micro, small and medium enterprises to digital financial services through the use of modern technologies, as well as attention to awareness and digital community education, which enhance the chances of success of efforts and policies in this regard.

The Council is keen to give the issues of financial inclusion in Arab countries the importance they deserve, as the Council blessed the Arab Monetary Fund, in cooperation with a number of regional and international institutions, to launch the regional initiative to enhance financial inclusion in the Arab region, with the aim of empowering and enhancing capabilities and capabilities to overcome obstacles that hinder the upgrading of indicators Financial inclusion in the Arab countries.

In this context, the Council appreciates the activities contained in the initiative focusing on digital financial transformation, and the council calls on the partner institutions in the initiative to pay more attention to support the use of modern technologies in enhancing youth and women’s access to micro, small and medium enterprises to financial services. It welcomes the document Guidance for digital financial transformation in the Arab region issued by the initiative in September 2020, as a road map to help develop policies and action plans in order to create comprehensive and safe financial technologies.

The document is based on a number of basic objectives, namely enhancing access, expanding use and quality. The document discusses various frameworks to support the transition to digital finance, including regulatory laboratories for modern financial technologies, consumer protection and financial education, financial and technical infrastructure, competition, and data. And cybersecurity, surveillance and cooperation.

In this regard, it is necessary to mention the steps and measures taken by Arab countries in order to promote financial culture, especially digital ones, and Arab countries can work to develop and integrate country action plans that contribute to the digital transformation of financial systems and support economic development to achieve sustainable growth and mitigate its severity. Poverty.

The Council also reaffirms the need to integrate all groups and segments of society into the formal financial system, especially youth, women, entrepreneurs, and the MSME sector, to take advantage of technologies and follow-up efforts to raise awareness of all these groups, protect their financial rights and improve their knowledge of digital financial matters, including They enable them to make the right decisions. In this context, the ministries of education, culture and higher education in the Arab countries can contribute to strengthening efforts represented in spreading and deepening education and digital financial education.

In the context of the increasing importance that the uses of modern financial technologies are gaining in the financial and banking sector and the great and rapid growth witnessed by the industry of these technologies and related services worldwide, the Council commended the role of the regional working group for modern financial technologies launched by the Arab Monetary Fund in exchanging expertise and knowledge on issues Modern financial technologies and crystallization of various visions to revitalize and regulate them in the Arab countries.

In this context, it should be noted that the fund issued during the year 2020 a number of guides and guidelines that enhance awareness of the requirements of digital transformation, specifically the guidance document on digital identity and know your electronic customer, principles for building national strategies for modern financial technologies, in addition to the recently issued document on banking operations. Open, Arab countries can adopt the guidance provided in these guides within the framework of the needs and procedures of each country.

Likewise, the Council appreciates the growing interest in modern financial technology issues in the regional work team's activities programs to enhance financial inclusion in Arab countries, and its role through developing policies and procedures related to enhancing financial inclusion, studying ways to improve financial inclusion indicators, and working to help Arab countries implement standards and principles. Relevant international institutions, and the strengthening of cooperation between the various national institutions and bodies concerned with issues of financial inclusion, and between them and the relevant international institutions.

On the other hand, the Council looks forward to continuing to improve financial inclusion indicators, as recent statistics reflect the efforts made by Arab countries to enhance access to financial services, indicating that the percentage of the adult population in Arab countries who have access to formal financial and financing services may It rose on average to 37 percent, 26 percent for women, and 28 percent for low-income groups.

Although these figures conceal disparities in this regard among Arab countries, they still highlight the great potential opportunities - especially for private financial and banking institutions - that can be exploited to enhance access to financial services in Arab societies. In this context, the efforts of Arab countries must be noted Which has applied the comprehensive model for statistical surveys, and emphasized the importance of following up its implementation from the rest of the countries, in order to help improve the quality of financial inclusion indicators according to the conditions of each country.

And before the conclusion, within the framework of the efforts made by central banks, Arab monetary institutions, commercial banks and official financial institutions in recent years, to revive the Arab Day for Financial Inclusion and to organize its distinctive activities and events on this day, in a way that contributed to spreading financial awareness and education among all members of society, the The Council calls on all member states to promote the revival of the activities of the Arab Financial Inclusion Day and expand the scope of community participation in it, by implementing activities and activities that enhance knowledge of financial inclusion and its objectives.

On this occasion, His Excellency the Director General, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Arab Monetary Fund, Dr. Abdulrahman bin Abdullah Al-Hamidi stressed the importance and role of financial inclusion in facing economic challenges that affect economic growth, by mobilizing resources to increase investment rates and create new job opportunities, praising His Excellency The increasing attention that issues related to enhancing financial inclusion by policymakers in Arab countries are receiving, which would help to face the challenges of poverty and unemployment and establish social justice.

His Excellency also praised the efforts of central banks and Arab monetary institutions, in terms of keenness to continue to pay attention to issues of improving financial inclusion and access to financial services of acceptable quality and costs, giving them appropriate importance and priority within the framework of the economic policies taken, spreading the culture of responsible financing in banking, and making use of technologies. Modern financial services in providing financial services, developing legislation, regulations and supervisory frameworks that help improve the spread of financial and banking services and encourage innovation in this field, in addition to following up efforts to upgrade sound infrastructure systems for the financial and banking system and encourage the development and expansion of non-banking financial services, in addition to developing policies and programs. That enhances transparency in financial and banking transactions.

His Excellency also praised the "Bani" Arab Payments platform, which was recently completed by the Arab Monetary Fund, and its role in providing innovative services in accordance with international standards and the latest practices and technologies, looking forward to the platform's role in encouraging the development of digital financial services in the Arab region and linking Arab countries with commercial partners.