The Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI) recently launched the National Financial Inclusion Strategy 3, 2021-2025 (NFIS3), which provides the third 5-year roadmap for financial inclusion in the Solomon Islands.
The NFIS3 outlines the island nation’s efforts towards increasing the coverage and deepening the reach of financial services in the country to enable citizens to have inclusive access to financial services.
The Strategy is guided by the vision to “Ensure all Solomon Islanders have access to a range of quality and affordable financial services and products and be competent to use them to increase their resilience and improved livelihood within the growing digital economy.”
The launch event was graced by the Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Honorable Manasseh Sogavare, who highlighted in his keynote remarks the importance of the NFIS3 as a national endeavor complementing nationally driven efforts to achieve inclusive economic growth.
“The National Financial Inclusion Strategy 3 will complement the efforts of the Solomon Islands Government through the National Development Strategy 2016-2035,” Prime Minister Sogavare explained. “This endeavors to achieve inclusive economic growth by improving the social and economic livelihoods of all Solomon Islanders,” he added.
During the launch, CBSI Governor Dr. Luke Forau also emphasized the importance of financial inclusion work and efforts to improve the economic livelihood of all Solomon Islanders.
When delivering his remarks, Governor Dr. Forau explained that “financial inclusion can induce progress in other sectors of the economy such as education, health, employment, gender, climate change, and so forth.”
Development of the Third National Financial Inclusion Strategy
Contextually, the development of the NFIS3 was based on gaps identified in the review of outcomes from the National Financial Inclusion Strategy 2, 2016-2020 (NFIS2). The study highlighted that in terms of access, formal financial inclusion in the Solomon Islands remains low at 32% with a gender gap of 15%, despite an increase in financial access points. This is owing mainly to the geographical scatteredness of the provinces, the rural and remote Islands, which makes establishing financial access points prohibitive and sometimes unviable.
Additionally, even though only 18% of the population ...
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