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AfDB, MTN commit $500k to study women’s access to financial services in Nigeria

AfDB, MTN commit $500k to study women’s access to financial services in Nigeria
October 21
09:59 2021

The African Development Bank (AfDB) says it has signed a grant agreement worth $500,000 with Y’ello Digital Financial Services (YDFS), a fintech subsidiary of MTN.

The fund will help study the economic, religious and social factors hampering access to finance by women in northern Nigeria.

Olufemi Terry, AfDB communication department and Funso Aina, senior manager, external relations, MTN Nigeria, made this known in a statement jointly issued on Wednesday in Abuja.

In Nigeria, about 38 million citizens — 36 percent of the adult population — are completely financially excluded.


In its latest report, the Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA) revealed that gaps still exist in financial access for some of Nigeria’s most financially excluded groups.

According to EFInA, women continue to be more financially excluded than men, with only 45 percent of women using formal financial services, compared with 56 percent of men.

In the northern part, it is more significant due to political instability and conservative cultural norms, presenting barriers to women’s access to finance.


Stefan Nalletamby, director of financial sector development at AfDB, said, “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.”

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.”

According to the statement, the grant will be funded through the Africa Digital Financial Inclusion Facility (ADFI), co-financed and partnered by the French Treasury’s Ministry for Economy and Finance and the French Development Agency (AFD).

In another related statement, Xavier Muron, AFD Director in Nigeria, said that the research, which included a feasibility study, women-focused design and testing, would focus on agents and customers.


Myron said that the research would provide insights into women’s use of mobile money services.

The project is aimed at providing services, agent networks to serve financial institutions and mobile money operators in Nigeria.


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