From left minster of the economy, development and cooperation Franz Fayot (LSAP) with finance minister Pierre Gramegna, speaking at the launch of the AFI in Luxembourg-Kirchberg on 5 October 2020. Photo: Screengrab
The Alliance of Financial Inclusion (AFI) launched its European Representative Office in Luxembourg with a virtual event on Monday.
The office is expected to further enable strategic expansion of the AFI’s activities in Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia, boosting dialogue between financial regulators in developed and developing countries.
“Inclusive finance will make this world a better place and will help us implement the 17 sustainable development goals of the UN,” Luxembourg finance minister Pierre Gramegna (DP) said in his opening remarks. “We can mobilise a huge amount of money to be channeled to those places that need it. It’s complementary to what the aid programme to development countries does. We want a world that’s more sustainable both towards climate change, environment and also more sustainable socially speaking so everyone has access to financial goods and services, this is what lux can help to deliver.”
The project materialised a year after Gramegna signed a letter of understanding with AFI in September 2019 and launched a multi-donor collaboration framework to help bolster financial inclusion across the African continent. Through AFI’s Multi-Donor Financial Inclusion Policy Implementation Facility (“MD-PIF”), AFI and Luxembourg are helping develop and implement policies in Africa at national and regional level that foster financial inclusion with a focus on gender equality, including digital financial innovation and fintech, financial education and SME finance, the government explained in a press statement.
AFI executive director Dr Alfred Hannig spoke to the conference from abroad because of pandemic travel restrictions. He said: “I commend the government of Luxembourg for its innovative, holistic and inclusive approach to financial sector policy regulation. In a time of growing nationalism and isolation, it is time to show the fertile ground international cooperation can have.”
As part of the office opening, Luxembourg will host a joint learning programme in fintech eco-systems, cyber security and fintech from 6-8 October.