Access to financial services allows poor people to smooth their consumption and insure themselves against economic vulnerabilities. It enables poor people to save and borrow, allowing them to build assets, invest in education and entrepreneurial ventures, and try to improve their livelihoods. Financial inclusion particularly benefits disadvantaged groups such as women, youths and rural communities. For all these reasons, financial inclusion has gained prominence as a policy objective to reduce poverty and is a top agenda item for the upcoming G-20 Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico.
On June 11, Global Economy and Development at Brookings will host a discussion on the latest data on global financial inclusion and the policies around financial access that can help spur economic growth and development. Leora Klapper, lead economist at the World Bank, will present findings from the Global Findex — the first public database that comprehensively measures how people in 148 countries save, borrow, make payments and manage risk. After the presentation, panelists will discuss the implications of the data and the policies required to improve financial access across the world. Brookings Senior Fellow Mwangi Kimenyi, director of the Africa Growth Initiative, will moderate the discussion.
After the discussion, participants will take audience questions.