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Financial Inclusion in Africa
Africa is at a turning point. Many countries have achieved high growth rates over the past decade, and many aspire to structural transformation, but the good performance has not translated into significant poverty reduction and shared prosperity. It has yet to provide low-income households and other vulnerable groups enough opportunity to improve their living standards. In terms of economic indicators, North Africa was performing well, but the young, low-income earners, and other vulnerable groups had been excluded from employment opportunities and other means of generating livelihoods to enable them to exit poverty. The civil unrest and social and political tensions of the so-called “Arab Spring” were a reality check to many countries in North Africa to be more inclusive. The challenge of inclusion is not new, but the social explosion in North Africa has been an eye-opener for policymakers everywhere, and for the development community as whole. A clear paradigm shift has resulted in a more inclusive and sustainable growth agenda. For its part, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has launched its Ten-Year Strategy 2013–22, the main thrust of which is inclusive and green growth.