“The Global Microscope 2016: The enabling environment for financial inclusion”, the report by the British analysis and research group The Economist Intelligent Unit, published earlier this month, ranks Cameroon 11th in Africa, in terms of promotion of financial inclusion.
Upon analysis, this study based on 12 indicators evaluating the legal framework favourable for financial inclusion in 55 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and Eastern Europe, thus gives tribute to the Cameroonian legal system which enabled the launch of mobile banking services in the country.
Indeed, while the rate of access to banking services in the country went barely beyond 10% 5 years ago, it is skirting the 20% nowadays, mainly thanks to the introduction of mobile money, a service offered by the two main mobile operators which are Orange and MTN; who have also enabled transactions from banking accounts to mobile money accounts.
According to official figures, the two leaders in the mobile communication market in Cameroon now have close to 5 million users of mobile money services between both of them, out of a population of over 20 million inhabitants; which contributed to boosting the financial inclusion in the country.
At the same time, we can recall that in 2013, the Cameroonian government imposed the use of banking services to all civil servants, whose salaries were superior or equal to FCfa 100,000, thus contributing to making a sizeable share of the 260,000 civil servants access banking services.
We can also list among these financial inclusion ingredients in Cameroon, the promotion of the microfinance sector, with about 500 organisations approved throughout the country in 2016.
According to the ranking of The Economist Intelligent Unit, Tanzania, Kenya and Rwanda are the three African leaders of financial inclusion.
Brice R. Mbodiam