First global consortium for financial inclusion announced at WEF in Davos. FILE IMAGE/ANA
First global consortium for financial inclusion announced at WEF in Davos. FILE IMAGE/ANA

First global consortium for financial inclusion announced at WEF in Davos

By ANA Reporter Time of article published Jan 24, 2020

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CAPE TOWN - The World Economic Forum on Friday announced the first global consortium focused on designing a framework for the governance of digital currencies in an effort to increase financial inclusion.

The initiative, which is the first to bring together leading companies, financial institutions, government representatives, technical experts, academics, international organizations, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and members of the Forum’s communities on a global level, was made at the WEF 50th annual meeting currently taking place in Davos, Switzerland, following extensive consultation with the global community.

Digital currencies are often cited as a tool for financial inclusion, but this opportunity can only be realised when paired with good governance, according to WEF.

To tackle the challenge ahead, an international, multistakeholder approach with the public and private sectors working alongside civil society is needed. This consortium would focus on solutions for a fragmented regulatory system. 

Efficiency, speed, inter-operability, inclusivity and transparency would be at the heart of this initiative. 

“Digital currency, a cross-cutting topic that requires input across sectors, functions, and geographies, is a key area of interest for the Forum,” said Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum. 

“Building on our long history of public-private cooperation, we hope that hosting this consortium will catalyze the conversations necessary to inform a robust framework of governance for global digital currencies.”

South African Reserve Bank governor, Lesetja Kganyago said: “Any evaluation of digital currencies should consider both policy and business objectives, as well as the unique circumstances that face different economies around the world, in order to fully evaluate their risks and benefits.”

“Bringing together diverse perspectives through this consortium will allow for this holistic review. In order to achieve this, we need the public and private sector to collaborate. We need the public and private sector to collaborate.”

Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England said: “Governance is the core pillar of any form of digital currency. It is critical that any framework on digital currencies ensures security, efficiency and legitimacy of payments while ensuring fair and open competition. We welcome the World Economic Forum’s platform to help develop a robust governance framework for inclusion through digital currencies.”

“We are exploring the potential that properly-regulated digital currencies hold for cheaper and faster cross-border payments, financial inclusion, and rooting out illicit finance,” said Tharman Shanmugaratnam, senior minister and chairman, Monetary Authority of Singapore. 

“This dialogue between public and private sector players is now essential, so we find the right roles for each in realizing this potential.”

Eric Parrado, chief economist, Inter-American Development Bank said that “we are watching closely as digital currencies increasingly become an area of focus around the world”. 

“They may unlock new opportunities for efficiency and inclusion, but this can only happen with the appropriate infrastructure and guardrails.”

African News Agency

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