Mercy Corps has released the new research report “Financing the Frontier: Inclusive Financial Sector Development in Fragility-Affected Africa” commissioned by Financial Sector Deepening Africa and supported by the UK Department for International Development. The research examines the impact of inclusive financial sector development on poverty, fragility, and stability across Sub-Saharan Africa.
Poverty rates in Africa’s states and regions considered ‘fragility-affected’ (DFID, 2016) are, on average, 20% higher than countries with comparable levels of economic development. The gap is widest for countries affected by repeated cycles of violence. Finance can play a crucial role in poverty and conflict cycles, as lack of equitable access to financial services can lead to underdevelopment and stagnation, exacerbating social and economic unrest. The research finds that donor and development actor investments in financial inclusion are some of the best strategies for future investment in fragile-affected countries and regions.
This research has global implications for regions facing similar challenges.