Gender Centre of Excellence
The Gender Centre of Excellence (GCE) is a strategic resource centre that provides much-needed support to the Nigerian financial inclusion ecosystem to design, implement, and sustain gender-responsive policies, products, and services that serve the needs of the unbanked or underbanked populations, particularly low-income women.
To support the effective implementation of the Framework for Advancing Women’s Financial Inclusion to eliminate the gender gap in Nigeria.
To be the premier centre of excellence and knowledge hub on innovative and scalable gender-transformative solutions to drive women’s financial inclusion in Nigeria and beyond.
Overview and Objectives
Established by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the GCE will work towards increasing capacity in Nigeria to focus on financial inclusion of women and girls and contribute towards the attainment of the Financial Services for the Poor (FSP’s) 3-5 year strategic goals in Nigeria. The FSP seeks to have at least 70 percent of adults using formal financial services by 2023 (up from 48.6 percent in 2018); and at least 40 percent of low-income adults (those living on <US$2.5/day) as registered owners of a financial account and use financial services delivered over digital platforms by 2023 (up from 14 percent in 2018).
The GCE will also provide important input for making the regulatory environment in Nigeria more conducive to the expansion of digital financial services (DFS) into rural/remote areas and promote solutions that are key to enabling a pro-poor DFS ecosystem. This will contribute to FSP’s global objective of increasing women’s and girls’ access to financial services by eliminating the gender gap in DFS usage by 2030.
GCE’s strategic objectives are to:
- Increase capacity within the Nigeria ecosystem to advance financial inclusion of women and girls.
- Provide important input for making the regulatory environment in Nigeria conducive for the expansion of DFS into rural/remote areas and promote solutions that are key to enabling a pro-poor DFS ecosystem.
- Eliminate the gender gap in DFS usage by 2030.
The expected outcomes/results of this investment are:
- Increased access to and use of affordable, relevant formal financial services by Nigerian women.
- A regulatory environment that enables women’s financial inclusion in Nigeria.
- The existence of strong, sustainable institutions to promote women’s financial inclusion in Nigeria.
- Increased availability of digital financial services that meet the needs of low-income Nigerian women.
The project will take a four-pronged approach to deliver the expected results:
- Capacity development – Support gender capacity building of key stakeholders including the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), other regulators, and financial service providers to be able to design, implement, and sustain policies, products, and services that are tailored to the needs of low-income women.
- Vibrant community of practice – Establish and/or strengthen networks of like-minded partners and champions for improved synergy and sharing of relevant experiences and lessons on what works to advance women’s financial inclusion.
- Data/evidence generation – Deep dive gender analysis to understand better the profile, motivations, needs, and barriers faced by women in accessing formal financial services and inform the development of relevant, evidence-based solutions.
- Innovation hub – Generating and piloting new ideas and business models that are gender-responsive and that can be scaled up and sustained to increase access to financial services for low-income customers, particularly women.