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Theoretical and Applied Economics
No. 4 / 2022 (633), Winter

Financial inclusion in sub-Saharan Africa: Benchmarking against peer developing countries

Mahamat Ibrahim AHMAT-TIDJANI
University of N’Djaména, Tchad; Félix Houphouët-Boigny University, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
Brou Emmanuel AKA
Félix Houphouët-Boigny University, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

Abstract. This paper empirically investigates the financial inclusion gap in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) relative to peer developing countries using the two-stage instrumental variable estimation over the period 2011-2017. The results are two-fold. First, there are positive and significant gaps in bank account, mobile money and savings in SSA, and insignificant gaps in loans. The magnitudes of the gaps vary between 0.6 ~ 0.7, 1.3 ~ 1.7 and 9.1 ~ 17.1 percentage points, respectively. Second, private credit, real GDP per capita, population density, inflation and government effectiveness appear to be the driving factors of financial inclusion in the full sample of developing countries. Whilst, oil rents, education and bank concentration are the most important factors explaining financial inclusion in SSA.

Keywords: benchmark model, financial inclusion gap, SSA, developing countries.

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