Oslo summit puts Norway at the centre of fight to end global financial exclusion

HRH Crown Prince Haakon and Norwegian State Secretary Mr Aksel Jakobsen is meeting fintechs from across the Nordic region, NGOs and global development agencies to discuss collaboration


OSLO: 28 MARCH 2019 – The inaugural Financial Inclusion Summit takes place in Oslo today (28thMarch) – for the first time bringing together representatives of international humanitarian agencies, government and non-governmental organisations with private enterprises and financial technology businesses from across the Nordic region to identify practical solutions to the problems of global financial exclusion.

Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs is one of those backing, and taking part in, the Summit which will be addressed by HRH Crown Prince of Norway and Mr Aksel Jakobsen, State Secretary, in the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Mr Jakobsen will speak on the role of development funding and aid in driving inclusion.

Last year, as part of its Humanitarian Strategy, the Norwegian Government stressed the need for greater coordination and cooperation in the management of development aid.

“The Nordic region’s success in humanitarian efforts, building a cashless society, and global reputation for transparency, openness and design-led thinking, puts it in a strong position to help solve one of society’s most intractable challenges,” says Mr Jakobsen.

Mr Jakobsen adds, “By convening an international gathering of stakeholders from Government and the public sector, together with private sector leaders from business and technology, the Nordics can contribute to reducing poverty and driving growth by creating a dialogue for a long-term solution to financial inclusion, aided by latest advances in financial technology.”

The Norwegian Government provides funding to NORAD and Norfund, both of which invest in and provide grants to the likes of Equity Bank of Kenya, Aris, CGAP and Better Than Cash Alliance.

The Summit will hear about new ways of approaching the global issue of financial exclusion and consider how best all involved can work together to tackle the problems. Examples of case studies from across the world – Myanmar, Brazil, India, Africa and Latin America – will be presented and proposals developed to drive the process forward.

Susanne Hannestad, CEO of Fintech Mundi, a global fintech accelerator, has convened the Summit. She says: “Nordic Fintech companies are providing concrete solutions in tackling financial exclusion already. This summit brings together 34 of these with government and other agencies who share their agenda of economic empowerment for people across the world. Together we can make a real difference.”

The main partner of the Summit is Mastercard, which will be launching a new global report on financial inclusion. Other partners include Telenor, Norfund, World Bank, World Economic Forum, International Banking Federation, INSEAD, NABA, Lighthouse Development Program and Mix.


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