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Promoting Financial Inclusion and Preserving Financial Stability in Côte d’Ivoire

Project Development Objective (PDO)

The main objective of the project is to promote financial inclusion and preserve financial stability by supporting the government of Côte d’Ivoire in
1.  Exploring restructuring and resolution options for state-owned banks and financial cooperative networks in an effort to protect     poor people’s savings
2.  Developing indicators to monitor progress toward financial inclusion, including monitoring of women’s access to financial services
3.  Promoting responsible access to financial services by protecting consumers and promoting
     transparency
4.  Building capacity to develop an agent banking model on a pilot basis to increase access points

Background

In a postconflict environment such as Côte d’Ivoire, increasing access to financial services, such as formal savings and payment products, is strongly linked to reducing poverty through such techniques as increasing incomes, reducing vulnerability, and smoothing consumption. In 2013, the country adopted a National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS), and with support from the FIRST (Financial Sector Reform and Strengthening) Initiative, it adopted a Financial Sector Strategy in 2014. The NFIS aims to increase access to financial services, and the Financial Sector Strategy builds on this strategy to promote both inclusion and stability. 

Activities

The project includes four components that will deliver the following activities:

1.  Developing options for the restructuring and resolution of state-owned banks and the financial
     cooperative network

2.  Developing a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) framework, including tracking mechanisms and
     financial inclusion indicators

3.  Providing assistance to strengthen consumer protection 

4.  Building the capacity to develop an agent banking model on a pilot basis to increase access points

Expected Outcomes

The expected outcomes of the project are:

1.  Raising awareness of and increasing buy-in for restructuring options (liquidation, privatization,
     merger, recapitalization), leading to the adoption and effective implementation of the proposed
     restructuring plan

2.  Setting up a well-functioning system that monitors and evaluates progress toward financial
     inclusion and implementation of the strategies through a comprehensive M&E framework and
     data infrastructure

3.  Establishing a mechanism (an observatory body) for monitoring financial disclosure and handling
     financial services complaints 

4.  Successfully implementing an agent banking pilot that will lead to a larger-scale rollout