THE Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI) Governor, Mr. Denton Rarawa is currently attending the 2015 Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) Global Policy Forum in Mozambique; Africa where he will participate as key panelist to one of the major discussion sessions covering data strategies for financial inclusion of Women today.
Governor Rarawa, who is making his third trip to the AFI meeting since its establishment back in 2008 has been invited to share Solomon Islands experience as one of the few countries around the world noted for including specific gender target in its Financial Inclusion strategies and its commitment towards the Maya declaration goals.
In 2012, CBSI was amongst 19 other institutions world-wide who announced new commitments towards improving and increasing greater financial inclusion within their respective jurisdictions. This is part of the global AFI focus towards reaching the “unbanked” world population. Governor Denton Rarawa utilized the opportunity that year in South Africa to outline CBSI’s commitment areas under the “Maya declaration” by declaring to fully support the work of the National Financial Inclusion Taskforce (NFIT) and to engage in financial inclusion activities targeting the rural population and local women of Solomon Islands.
Manager for the National Financial Inclusion Unit (NFIU) Ms. Caroline Kanoko, who is also accompanying the Governor to this year’s AFI meeting, explained prior to leaving that the 2015 AFI GP Forum will provide another opportunity for Solomon Islands to share its experiences on the financial inclusion front with members from the Asia, Europe and African regions.
Ms. Kanoko explained that AFI members this year were keen and interested in learning from the Solomon Islands, whose current revised financial inclusion target stands at 160,000 new clients having access to basic financial services and products by 2017, from which 50 percent must be women. She said that the focus of the panel will mainly be on the challenges faced in collecting data, and how such information was used in shaping policies and objectives targeting the financial inclusion of women in rural Solomons.
According to panel organizers, the key objective of the session attended by Governor Rarawa is to highlight strategies that work for policy makers in collecting sex-disaggregated data for better informed policy development.
The session entitled “data strategies for financial inclusion of women” will commence on Friday morning and Governor Rarawa will present and share experiences from NFIT’s work since 2011 with other members, discussing lessons learned and potential strategies going forward, especially in promoting the use and collection of data to increase women’s financial inclusion. Outcomes are expected support current reports by AFI and stakeholders on policy approaches already identified in this area.
Meanwhile, Governor Rarawa also had the opportunity to lead the Pacific Islands Regional Initiative (PIRI) roundtable and 2nd Experts Group on Financial Inclusion Policy (EGFIP) meeting on Tuesday earlier this week.
PIRI is the Pacific regional arm to the AFI network and is currently the smallest but most active group originally formed in 2009 at the request of the central banks of Fiji, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Timor Leste.
CBSI is the current chair to the PIRI committee, formerly known as the Pacific Islands Working Group (PIWG).
Source: CBSI, press release