|dc.description.abstract||According to the World Bank’s Global Findex data1
, only 20 percent, 25 percent,
and 15 percent of Sierra Leone’s total population aged above 15 years, male
population and female population own a bank account in 2017, respectively. This
is well below the average of 42.6% for SSA (WB, 2020) and implies that a significant
proportion of the population, and women in particular, are financially excluded.
Furthermore, mobile money penetration rate is low in the country. Only 11 percent
ofthe population aged more than 15 years own a mobile money account. Also, only
14 percent of male population and 9 percent of female population own mobile
money account (WB, 2020).
The lowfinancial inclusion pattern is also reflected amongMSMEs in the country. The
World Bank Enterprises Survey data collected in 2017 for Sierra Leone suggest that
of the 150 firms surveyed, only 48 (32%) use mobile money for their transactions.
Also, the majority of these firms only used the mobile money services to receive
payment from customers. This situation has compelled the government to roll
out relevant interventions to promote financial inclusion in recent years. These
include the adoption of a national strategy for financial inclusion (2017-2020) and
the provision of support for FinTech innovation. The national strategy has a broad
vision “to make financial services available, accessible and affordable to all Sierra
Leoneans and enterprises, and support inclusive and resilient private-sector-led
growth (BoSL, 2016).||en_US