Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) Reveals New Home in Malaysia and New Funding Partner With Omidyar

PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO–(Marketwired – Sep 9, 2014) – AFI announced today that Malaysia, represented by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), will be the new host country for the Alliance for Financial Inclusion. The announcement was made at the organization’s Annual General Meeting, kicking off the 2014 Global Policy Forum (GPF) in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.

The international bidding process saw strong proposals from every region of the globe, reflecting the growth and diversity of the AFI Network. BNM’s Governor Zeti, whose organization hosted the 2013 GPF, was delighted with the decision. “Bank Negara Malaysia is committed to the financial inclusion agenda and is honoured to have the opportunity to collaborate with AFI and its membership in advancing the development and implementation of policies that will increase the access to financial services for the unbanked segment in the world”.

This January, AFI will relocate to Kuala Lumpur as part of a much larger process in the organization’s evolution into an independent international organization.

“This is an exciting time for the AFI members, and for the cause of financial inclusion”, said AFI’s Executive Director, Alfred Hannig. “The development of our Network is representative of the positive impact that financial inclusion is having around the world. As a permanent international organization, our members will be in an even stronger position to help the world’s unbanked through smart policy solutions”.

AFI also introduced the Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment firm, as the organization’s newest funding partner. “Omidyar Network is honored to become a supporter of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion”, said Arjuna Costa, investment partner at Omidyar Network. “Since its inception in 2008, AFI has had a significant impact on accelerating the adoption of innovative financial inclusion policy solutions. Omidyar Network is grateful for the leadership of the Gates Foundation and GIZ, and we are pleased to join them and financial regulators from more than 90 countries, as we work toward making financial services more accessible to the world’s 2.5 billion unbanked people. We are especially excited to contribute our perspective to AFI’s work, given our investment focus on early-stage, disruptive innovation in the financial services space”.

AFI was founded as a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded project with administration services provided by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). In six years AFI has grown into the world’s largest network of financial inclusion policymakers, representing 120 institutions from 95 countries. Through initiatives such as the Maya Declaration, Working Groups on key policy areas, and as an implementing partner of the G20 GPFI, AFI has been instrumental in making financial inclusion policy a global development agenda priority.