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date: 13 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter takes stock of the current state of banking systems across Sub-Saharan Africa and discusses recent developments, including innovations that might help Africa leapfrog more traditional banking models. Using an array of different data, the chapter documents that African banking systems are shallow but stable. African banks are well capitalized and over-liquid, but lend less to the private sector than banks in non-African developing countries. African enterprises and households are less likely to use financial services than their peers in other developing countries, although there has been significant progress over the past decade. The chapter also describes a number of financial innovations across the continent that can help overcome different barriers to financial inclusion and have helped to expand the bankable and the banked population. The chapter ends with discussing current challenges for policymakers and academics, including the lack of (data on) long-term finance and the supervisory challenges stemming from increasing cross-border banking in the region.

Keywords: banking, financial inclusion, financial innovation, financial stability, Sub-Saharan Africa

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