IMF-CEF Webinar on “Financial Inclusion in the Middle East and North Africa”.


The IMF-Middle East Center for Economics and Finance (IMF-CEF) and the IMF’s Institute for Capacity Development (ICD) held a joint webinar titled "Financial inclusion in the Middle East and North Africa" on January 24, 2023 to discuss a book chapter on “Financial Inclusion” co-authored by Anta Ndoye and Adolfo Barajas. The chapter is part of a recently published IMF book titled “Promoting Inclusive Growth in the Middle East and North Africa: Challenges and Opportunities in a Post-Pandemic World”.


Mr. Paulo Drummond, Director of the CEF, gave opening remarks and Ms. Chiraz Labidi, Senior Economist at the CEF, moderated the event. The speaker, Mr. Adolfo Barajas, is a Senior Economist at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the Inclusive Growth and Structural Policies Division of the Institute for Capacity Development (ICD). Ms. Anta Ndoye, Resident Representative for Mauritania at the IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia Department participated in the Q&A session.

Mr. Barajas began by emphasizing the importance of financial inclusion and its microeconomic and macroeconomic benefits. He then presented the state of financial inclusion in the MENA region using a structural benchmarking approach and explained the associated macroeconomic benefits from increasing financial inclusion in the MENA region. He went further and offered policy recommendations to expand financial inclusion in the region.

The floor then opened for discussion with a diverse audience from the region, including participants from the public sector, the banking and business community, academia, as well as representatives from the diplomatic corps, offices of international and regional organizations in the region, and the civil society.

In closing, Ms. Labidi thanked the speaker for his insights on this important topic and members of the audience for the lively discussions.

For more details about the webinar, please refer to the following links:

Webinar’s Recording.

PPT Presentation.



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