Nation Expanding MSMEs to Ensure Financial Inclusion: Ministry of Finance

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Addis  Ababa, January 23/2020 (ENA) Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are playing fundamental role especially for poverty reduction and job creation, mainly targeting youth and women, according to Ministry of Finance.

Finance State Minister, Eyob Tekalign, yesterday led a session on ‘Financial Inclusion beyond the Individual: The Role of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)’ during the 50th World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.

He also met and held bilateral discussions with Queen Maxima of the Netherlands on wide range of issues including financial inclusion in the country.

On the session, Eyob recognized the importance of the role of MSMEs in Ethiopia for advancing financial inclusion, which is critical in achieving one of the pillars of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

The State Minister elaborated the great potential of MSMEs to support with the expansion of financial inclusion in particular for a country like Ethiopia.

MSME in Ethiopia is the second largest employment-generating following agriculture, he stated.

“The Home Grown Economic Reform Program has incorporated financial inclusion as a core element in Ethiopia’s path towards accelerated economic growth, greater prosperity and social development,” he added.  

Moreover, Eyob identified digital payments among MSMEs as one potential to enable financial inclusion strategies despite the existing challenges in bringing acceptance in utilizing digital financial services and availing the necessary infrastructure for implementation.

“Affordable, effective, and safe financial services can play a powerful role in fostering equitable growth and furthering development goals such as poverty reduction, job growth, gender equality, and food security,” he emphasized.

According to him, the government has given special focus to micro level entrepreneurship and small business development since mid-1990s and continues as part of the recently launched Home Grown Economic Reform.

He added that Ethiopian government has been revising mobile agent banking directive, the development of the national digital payment strategy and the refresher of the national financial inclusion strategy.