Kenya has a world-leading track record on increasing financial inclusion. Today, nearly 83 percent of its citizens have access to formal financial services, up from only 26.7 percent in 2006.2 Kenya’s gender gap in financial inclusion has also narrowed significantly, from 12 percent in 2006 to 5.4 percent in 2019, although a 14.9 percent differential remains between urban and rural women. Modeling conducted as part of our research suggests that Kenya is on its way to fully closing its gender gap in access to financial services within the next decade.
These accomplishments are due to a combination of factors, including enabling government policies, telecommunications advancements, and the proliferation of mobile money. Kenya deserves to celebrate this WFI success story. But the journey is not over. Now is the moment to push for next-level WFI progress, by focusing on ways to increase women’s usage of financial services.
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