IFC and CBL Engage Stakeholders on Dissemination of Digital Credit Guidelines

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), in collaboration with the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), organized a one-day stakeholder meeting on September 21 on the dissemination of digital credit guidelines and potential opportunities in the financial sector. from Liberia.

The workshop brought together representatives from commercial banks, microfinance institutions and mobile money service providers, and aims to raise awareness of the use and application of these guidelines. The platform also provides access to finance for households and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

While it makes lending more inclusive for underserved and unserved households and businesses, it also raises challenges that need to be addressed by policymakers and regulators to ensure well-functioning credit markets and broader financial systems. that promote sustainable economic development.

IFC Resident Representative Alexandra Celestin said the workshop on the Credit Guidelines Initiative will increase access to finance for Liberian businesses.

“The digital credit facility will provide alternative sources to access finance, in addition to loans made to households and businesses by commercial banks and micro-finance institutions,” Célestin added.

She says the platform will improve the business climate in Liberia, especially in agriculture and other private sector investments. Celestin urged attendees to engage in the discussion and take the opportunity as stakeholders to better understand these guidelines, learn from experiences and lessons from other markets, and explore new market opportunities.

She further stated that the development of the Digital Credit Guidelines, which were approved in March 2022, is part of the broader ongoing technical assistance and advisory program to help support private sector development in the Liberia, phase two, which is funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).

Célestin said that in addition to access to digital financial services, it also includes several centers, namely: agricultural value chain development, collateral registry, trade facilitation and business climate reform.

She revealed that the first phase facilitated the review of commercial courts – the creation of a specialized commercial court to speed up the resolution of commercial cases and provide a platform for private and public dialogue to improve the investment climate. in Liberia.

Celestin said that over the years, the IFC has provided hundreds of millions of investments and technical support to Liberia across multiple sectors, from agriculture and mining to the financial sector. She however mentioned that IFC has been working with CBL and other stakeholders to develop and implement reforms that will improve access to finance for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

Also speaking, the Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia, J. Aloysius Tarlue, highlighted the importance of the digital credit facility for Liberian businesses.

“Creating access to finance has always been a key priority of the Liberian government, a commitment that CBL holds so strongly,” Tarlue said.

He wants Liberian businesswomen to take advantage of the digital credit opportunities made available by the formal financial sector to grow their businesses.

For his part, World Bank Liberia Country Director Khwima Nthara said, “Digital credit has improved the lives of ordinary people and expressed optimism that Liberians will reap the dividends from such a facility.”

Nthara further reaffirms the World Bank’s commitment to working with the Central Bank to ensure that ordinary Liberians and local businesses have access to finance.

He also called on financial institutions to adopt the new platform to improve their operations.

As development partners, I would like to say that we are committed to helping and continuing to build on what has been established as the foundation to make it a reality and to ensure that we contribute to reducing poverty and promoting greater prosperity. shared in Liberia. “Nthara said.

He expressed hope that the credit guidelines platform would see a transformation in Liberia’s financial sector. Swedish Embassy Policy Officer Karin K. Blomqvist, said the Swedish Embassy has a long-standing partnership with the IFC to support business climate reforms and private sector development in Liberia.

She said access to digital credit and access to finance, especially for small businesses, women and youth, is critical to poverty reduction and economic development in Liberia.

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NB This English text is an unofficial translation of the Swedish original of the invitation …