FRA, USAID partner to expand non-banking financial inclusion for women

Daily News Egypt
5 Min Read

The Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) and the Economic and Social Empowerment Program for Women, funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), signed a Memorandum of Understanding to expand non-banking financial inclusion for women. The program is implemented by Pathfinder, as part of enhancing cooperation mechanisms between the two parties to work towards financial inclusion for women in the non-banking financial sector.

The memorandum was signed by Mohamed Abdel Aziz, Assistant Chairperson of the FRA, and Dina Kaffafi, Director of the Economic and Social Empowerment Program for Women. The signing ceremony was witnessed by Mohamed Farid, the Chairperson of the FRA, and attended by Sean Jones, Director of the USAID Mission, Elsie Valdez, Senior Program Manager at the USAID, and Mohamed Ayad, Director of the Media Center at the FRA, along with several employees from both the FRA and the USAID.

Farid stated that the objective of this agreement is to equip and empower women to benefit from non-banking financial services. This aims to improve their living standards and facilitate proper financial planning for a better future for themselves and their families. The FRA will select a representative from its senior management to participate in the National Advisory Committee for the Economic and Social Empowerment Program for Women. The committee includes representatives from program partners in the government sector, the USAID, the private sector, and civil society. It will also nominate institutions providing non-banking financial services supporting financial inclusion for the program’s targeted female segments (microinsurance, micro leasing, microfinance, and consumer finance).

The FRA will facilitate communication between the Economic and Social Empowerment Program for Women and these institutions, sharing information about financial education initiatives by both the FRA and the Institute of Financial Services, including the content of financial education offered, recipients of educational activities, and the rates and mechanisms of implementing these activities.

Farid emphasized that the qualification and empowerment of women require their awareness of all non-banking financial services, especially gradual long-term investment in the stock market. Additionally, microinsurance is a fundamental element for providing protection, along with building financial reserves that help women meet their future needs. The FRA is keen on developing collaboration mechanisms with multi-stakeholder development partners to achieve financial, insurance, and investment inclusion as key pillars it has set for developing the non-banking financial sector. It also works to enhance efforts for the economic empowerment of women specifically.

He added that this agreement aims to involve the program in facilitating and hosting training programs using the “Train the Trainer” methodology. This is to build the capacities of selected personnel in presenting financial education content related to non-banking financial products and services. The collaboration includes preparing joint awareness campaigns in coordination with relevant entities in the non-banking financial activities sector to enhance financial inclusion and raise awareness of financial culture for women, contributing to achieving the positive impact of sustainable development goals.

Farid clarified that at the management level of the Authority and its employees, the percentage of women represents approximately 35% of the workforce in general. The percentage of women among those who recently joined the Authority’s workforce is around 65% of new employees. He added that the Authority has mandated companies engaged in non-banking financial activities and companies listed on the Egyptian Stock Exchange to have female representation in their boards of directors, comprising 25% of the board members or at least two female members. Boards of directors of federations operating in the field of non-banking financial activities are also required to include at least one female member.

On his part, Sean Jones, Director of the USAID Mission, stated that the cooperation between the Financial Regulatory Authority and the Economic and Social Empowerment Program for Women aligns with the national goals of sustainable economic development in Egypt’s Vision 2030. It includes effective steps to expand the financial inclusion of women by enhancing communication and collaboration between non-banking financial service providers supervised by the Authority and the beneficiaries of the Economic and Social Empowerment Program for Women. This includes beneficiaries of financial inclusion initiatives proposed by the program’s partners in the government sector, in addition to female workers in the private sector. The collaboration involves joint activities for educating women financially to support their benefit from non-banking financial products such as microinsurance, consumer finance, and microfinance.

Share This Article
Leave a comment