News and Articles
A collection of views and comments on the world of international trade and financial inclusion
This page is a mixture of our take on what's happening in the world, along with articles and views from guest contributors. We welcome submissions of relevant stories, either as finished articles or as rough facts that our writers can use as reference.
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Learning From the Forum
Digital Financial Services for Refugees
By Jem Shaw, 5 Mar 2020
The Financial Inclusion Forum hosted a highly stimulating event last night, at which we learned more about what digital financial services are doing for refugees and other forcibly displaced populations. As is so often the case, the unintended
Mobilising the Digital Payments Revolution
A Call to Fintechs to share their solutions
By Jem Shaw, 24 Feb 2020
Today, 5.1 billion people own a mobile phone. Compared to a world population of a little over 7 billion, that suggests that roughly two-thirds of people are part of the app revolution. GSMA, the organisation that represents the interests
IMF Approves US$3 billion loan for Ethiopia
Government plans show whole-solution thinking
By Tory Batten, 22 Jan 2020
The IMF's approval of a US$3 billion programme of reform for Ethiopia is yet another indicator of Africa's economic surge. The programme appears to be encouragingly holistic, with elements that permeate through the country's
African economies boom
A cause for celebration or concern?
By Jem Shaw, 21 Jan 2020
According to the IMF, Africa is set for meteoric growth in 2020. That's excellent news, but high speeds create big accidents. At the risk of being accused of looking for the tunnel instead of the light, I'd like to propose a few
AML penalties double
Where do the failures lie?
By Jem Shaw, 14 Jan 2020
So it seems that non-compliance continues unchecked in global finance. As observed by Encompass, AML penalties doubled in 2019 from their 2018 level. There is some encouragement in the figures, given that penalties among banks have reduced.
Is ignorance an admissible excuse?
Major companies sued for supporting child labour
By Jem Shaw, 20 Dec 2019
Several major companies, including Tesla, Apple, Microsoft and Google, have been named in a lawsuit implicating them in the deaths of child labourers in artisanal mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo. A case filed by International
Shifting the focus in global transactions
We need to be looking at people, not regions
By Jem Shaw, 13 Dec 2019
While the developed world has become more connected, and cross-border trading increasingly simple, many smaller and emerging economies have become increasingly marginalised by world finance organisations. The regions worst-hit are in Africa,
Who gets trampled in a gold rush?
Will biriminan gold deposits spell prosperity or disaster?
By Jem Shaw, 8 Dec 2019
The gold industry is in a considerable state of excitement about the extent of gold deposits becoming available in western Africa. With gold’s international price having recovered strongly in recent months, this should spell prosperity
The pound that was in your pocket
The importance of cash in financial inclusion
By Subas Das of Choice International, 4 Dec 2019
Cash is dead. Give it five years and no one will use it any more. Everyone knows this, except, apparently, the Bank of England. Is the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street living in a bygone age, or does she know something the rest of us have
No golden future for emerging countries
Why refusing to buy artisanal gold is no solution
By Jem Shaw, 27 Nov 2019
Artisanal gold mining accounts for roughly 20% of the world's gold production, but employs around 80% of its miners. Millions of people, including young children, work under highly dangerous conditions for exploitative wages. Accidents