Queen Máxima speaks online with BCEAO Governor Koné about digital financial services

On Thursday 9 September Her Majesty Queen Máxima had an online meeting with Tiémoko Meyliet Koné, Governor of the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO), to discuss the importance of regional reforms in improving financial services. Queen Máxima is the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA).

The meeting with Governor Koné was a follow-up to Queen Máxima’s virtual UN country visits earlier this year to Côte d'Ivoire, Togo and Senegal (Government Information Service press release nos. 182, 113 and 13). The Governor also participated in these meetings. The country visits focused on how secure, affordable and accessible financial services can improve economic development opportunities, particularly for people on low incomes, women, small and medium-sized businesses and smallholder farmers. Financial services can also help people to build up a financial buffer and invest in a better future. Another topic discussed was the role that inclusive finance will play in economic recovery during and after the coronavirus pandemic. 

The BCEAO is the central bank that serves the eight countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU): Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. Within the WAEMU, 60% of people aged 15 and older have access to formal financial services. In 2014 the figure was 37% (Source: BCEAO 2019 annual report on financial inclusion in the WAEMU, published in French). Queen Máxima and Governor Koné spoke online for the first time in December 2020 about the introduction of the financial inclusion strategy that the BCEAO presented to WAEMU countries in 2016.