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2013 Documento de Trabajo #305

The African Financial Development and Financial Inclusion Gaps

This paper investigates the African financial development and financial inclusion gaps relative to other peer developing countries.  Using a set of variables related to financial development and inclusion, we first estimate the gaps between African countries and other developing countries with similar degrees of economic development. Then, we explore the determinants of financial development and inclusion and find that population density appears to be considerably more important for financial development and inclusion in Africa than elsewhere. We then show evidence that a recent innovation in financial services, mobile banking, has helped to overcome infrastructural problems and improve financial access.

JEL CODES: G2; O1; R2.

Franklin Allen
Elena Carletti
Robert Cull
Jun “Qj” Qian
Lemma Senbet
Patricio Valenzuela

Keywords: Africa, development gaps, Financial development, financial inclusion