The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) announced that the percentage of citizens aged 16 years and over who are financially included has increased to 67.3% in June 2023, according to the indicators of the financial inclusion database for natural individuals. This reflects significant progress from December 2022, when the percentage was 61.9%.
Sherif Lokman, Sub Governor of CBE for Financial Inclusion, said that the bank aims to achieve a financial inclusion rate of 70% by the end of this year. He made his remarks during the PAFIX Exhibition and Conference on e-payment and financial inclusion, which was held last week.
Lokman also said that the percentage of women who are financially included reached 60%, while the percentage of youth who are financially included reached 48.5%.
Khaled Bassiouni, Director General of Financial Inclusion at CBE, said that the national strategy for financial education had been completed, in partnership with the government program and the country program of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Bassiouni pointed out that Egypt had achieved remarkable results in financial inclusion, surpassing many of the countries that preceded it in this field. He said that Egypt had achieved a growth rate of more than 160% in financial inclusion by the end of June 2023, compared to 2014. He added that countries such as India, the Philippines, and Kenya had achieved growth rates of 100% and were among the advanced countries in this field.
Bassiouni added that CBE had a leading role in promoting financial inclusion in Egypt, as it issued the Financial Inclusion Strategy 2022-2025, which focuses on financial education and consumer protection. He said that CBE seeks to spread financial literacy and awareness and enhance citizens’ ability to make sound financial decisions.
He explained that CBE, in cooperation with various stakeholders, launched several projects to support financial inclusion, which achieved great results. He mentioned some of the national projects that target the marginalized and excluded segments of society, such as the Decent Life project, which includes digital financial education as one of its main components.
He also stressed that financial inclusion is essential for reducing poverty and achieving economic growth, by making financial services accessible, affordable, and suitable for all segments of society.
He said that financial education and awareness is one of the key pillars of financial inclusion, especially for projects that target the largest number of citizens. He said that CBE is working on three main axes for financial education: increasing awareness of financial products, enhancing confidence in the financial sector, empowering consumers, protecting their rights, and enhancing their ability to make sound financial decisions.