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IFC Launches its DigiLab Program in the Middle East and Africa to Help Financial Institutions Improve Digital Services

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Rabat, Morocco, June 7, 2021 – To increase financial inclusion and support the digital transformation of financial institutions across Africa and the Middle East, IFC launched its DigiLab Finance training and support program with the aim of improving services for consumers of financial services.

DigiLab Finance is a capacity building program that equips selected financial institutions – including banks, microfinance institutions and digital financial services providers – with practical knowledge and tools to help them develop digital strategies, helping them adapt and adopt to technological trends accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic and better serve their clients.

The first cohort of four financial institutions from Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, and Zambia began the six-week online DigiLab program on June 1. The program is being delivered in both English and French.

"Coronavirus has changed the way we live and work and has made digital transformation for financial institutions more important than ever," said Riadh Naouar, IFC Financial Institutions Group Manager for Africa and the Middle East. "Banks across the region have already made good progress adapting new technologies, although implementation of full digital transformation remains a challenge. The DigiLab program will help improve on this aspect of implementation and is part of IFC's broader strategy to support a stronger, more sustainable financial sector."

At the end of the six-week training program, participating financial institutions present their strategies and roadmaps for implementing a digital strategy to a panel of experts that provides feedback to help them incorporate improvements to their digital finance operations.

IFC introduced DigiLab Finance in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2018 and then in Europe and Central Asia in 2020.

Since its launch, DigiLab has supported 23 financial institutions to implement new business structures, launch digital products that better serve customer needs, and explore partnerships with fintechs or other tech providers.

About IFC

IFC—a member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work in more than 100 countries, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries. In fiscal year 2020, we invested $22 billion in private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

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