Palestine Monetary Authority and Palestine Capital Market Authority launch activity of Arab Financial Inclusion Day with attendance by His Excellency Mr. Azzam Shawwa, the Governor of Palestine Monetary Authority, Mr. Bader Zamareh, the Executive Director of Sharek Youth Forum, and a number of directors of Palestine Monetary Authority and Palestine Capital Market Authority and general managers and regional managers of banks and lending institutions that operate in Palestine. A number of directors of insurance companies and financial leasing companies and stock exchange also attended the launching of the activity, which was organized in association with Sharek Youth Forum.
The Arab Financial Inclusion Day activity was launched at the Youth Village in Kufur Ni’ma in Ramallah and at Gaza University in Gaza Strip, where a number of university students were hosted and took part in “Financial Inclusion Challenge” activities and interactive challenges on financial and banking in order to inform them of concept and objectives of financial inclusion.
Mr. Shawwa said in the opening remarks during the activity that Palestine Monetary Authority took a number of measures and steps several years ago to boost the rates of financial inclusion in Palestine by enhancing the financial capacities of the society and developed the infrastructure and systems and supervisory frameworks that helped to improve and spread banking services especially modern financial technical services and encouraged innovation in this area including preparing banking services and products especially those for the target groups and initiatives to enhance the legal environment to protect the rights of the consumers of the services and products. Mr. Shawwa announced in the activity the launching of instructions for financial inclusion account in Palestine to enable the community, especially people with limited income, middle income, entrepreneurs, and those who work on electronic and regional and international platforms in the community, to open bank accounts with limited conditions and distinctive specifications.
Mr. Shawwa said the instructions allowed the legally qualified citizens to open bank account using other basic banking products and services to enhance the concept of saving. The instructions also facilitate conducting other financial applications; hence, improve living conditions, which would have positive impact of financial stability and inclusive economic development.
Mr. Buraq Nabulsi, the Director General of the Palestine Capital Market Authority, said Palestine Capital Market Authority sought to enhance financial inclusion through joint leadership with Palestine Monetary Authority and participation from all relevant financial sectors to direct the efforts of the initiatives relevant to increasing the rate of financial inclusion in Palestine, which stood at 36%, to 50% by the end of 2015. Mr. Nabulsi also affirmed that the main objective of the initiatives was to overcome the obstacles that Palestinian youth faced and to facilitate access to financial services and resources and to encourage creative ideas among the youth by raising awareness and financial culture among this important group, which constituted one-third of the Palestinian community. The integration of the entire community in the formal financial sector, especially the youth, is very important to reviving the economy; hence reduce unemployment, which is one of the most prominent objectives of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy, according to Mr. Nabulsi.
Palestine Capital Market Authority develops financial services and products that will enhance financial inclusion such as microinsurance and other products that serve groups targeted by financial inclusion in the community, says Mr. Nabulsi. Palestine Capital Market Authority also reviews and develops legal frameworks that regulate the sectors to be more suitable for the requirements of financial inclusions, and implements initiatives to build the capacities of people in the Palestinian society such as the comprehensive insurance campaign, which Palestine Capital Market launched at the beginning of the year. Palestine Capital Market Authority also focuses on complete the efforts relevant to reviving the financial leasing sector as an alternative and important financing tool to meet the needs of business entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises, according to Mr. Nabulsi.
Mr. Bader Zamareh asserted the importance of raising the awareness of the youths about financial and banking issues through a number of extensive activities of financial inclusion that relied on interactive approach on youthful nature.
Mr. Zamareh said that hosting the event of launching the Arab Financial Inclusion Day activity at the Youth Village in Kufur Ni’ma had many important and positive indications to smoothly convey the concepts to the youths.
The activity of the Arab Financial Inclusion Day will go on for three days. It will include youth’s platforms at universities where young entrepreneurs will share their experiences of benefiting from banking services to start businesses. There will also be theatrical performances about financial inclusion and playing videos that raise awareness about banking and financial issues.
Arab Financial Inclusion Day is an annual event approved by the Council of Arab Central Banks Governors and Arab Monetary Associations. The event is sponsored by the Arab Monetary Fund and held annually on April 27. The event is organized to enhance financial inclusion among the communities of the Arab countries.