WFP Treasurer and Deputy Finance Director Robert Van Der Zee recently appeared on CNBC Africa to talk about economic growth in West Africa, a region that is still recovering from last year’s Ebola outbreak.
When it comes to reducing poverty and creating sustainable development in low-income countries like Nigeria, Van Der Zee says financial inclusion is key. This means providing access to financial services like bank accounts, affordable credit and homeowner’s insurance.
According to the World Bank, some 2 billion people worldwide—or more than half of the total adult population—lack access to basic financial services, instead relying on informal and often ineffective alternatives, like purchasing livestock as a form of savings. These mechanisms are risky and often expensive.
But thanks in part to mobile technology, an estimated 34% of adults in Sub-Saharan Africa now have access to a banking account.