The Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General, Dame Meg Taylor delivered the keynote address at the opening of the Financial Inclusion Innovation Summit, held in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea from the 29th to 31st of August 2017.
Excerpt of “The Future of Financial Inclusion in the Pacific”
“This Financial Inclusion Innovative Summit marks its 10th Anniversary as the major multi-stakeholder gathering for financial inclusion in the Pacific. I congratulate you for this milestone and acknowledge your commitment to this cause. Throughout this Summit you will look to develop innovative mechanisms to ensure greater financial inclusion for our people. I would like to leave you with three proposals.
First, I urge you to consider extending regional financial inclusion programmes and coverage to other parts of the region and beyond those Pacific countries with central banks in the next 5 to 10 years.
Second, I urge you to explore how Pacific Islands Countries can improve digital financial inclusion. Forum Leaders have identified Information and Communications Technology (ICT) as a priority for collective action and it is critical that we harness ICT to support greater financial inclusion. Almost all countries in the region have experienced an increased penetration of smart mobile phones over the last 10 years, yet the use of mobile phones for digital financial inclusion remains negligible in this region compared to similar trends across Africa and Asia. We must do more to make use of this potentially game changing technology.
Third, I encourage investment in reliable, consistent data on financial inclusion. We lack data for many aspects of national development, including financial inclusion, which restricts our ability to fully gauge the extent of our efforts regarding financial exclusion. It is therefore imperative that we invest in building reliable databases for all financial inclusion initiatives, to support evidence-based policymaking.”