Financial inclusion in Egypt has been placed as a top priority on the government’s agenda during the last few years as an integral part of Egypt’s 2030 Vision. Financial inclusion could help Egypt with different aspects that include supporting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), attracting the informal sector, increasing job creation, achieving sustainable growth, and realizing a higher level of financial stability. Despite the fruitful outcomes of financial inclusion, there are many supply and demand barriers that hamper the promotion of financial inclusion. Supply side barriers are closely related to the regulatory and legal constituents, and pitfalls of market structure. Demand side barriers are users’ limited financial ability, low level of financial literacy, and cultural barriers. The regulatory bodies represented in the Ministry of Finance, Central Bank of Egypt, and Financial Regulatory Affairs have taken important practical steps in the different national policy levels to advocate for financial inclusion. The implemented policies targeted many segments of the financially excluded groups of individuals and SMEs. Despite the positive outcomes and good results in terms of financial inclusion level, the different stakeholders need to continue addressing the pitfalls and challenges that encounter achieving an inclusive financial system in Egypt. This research tries to address and pinpoint the different supply and demand side barriers, and analyze the different policies that the Government of Egypt (GoE) pursued throughout the last five years. Qualitative research approach was used in this study by conducting interviews with different stakeholders of financial inclusion. The study endorses the continuous role of the different regulatory bodies in targeting the financially excluded groups by creating a better regulatory and legal framework, introducing better market development practices, embarking on financial institutions capacity building to offer more tailored financial services and address the needs of the citizens and small businesses with limited or no access to financial services. Achieving financial inclusion in Egypt will take time to be progressed in reaction to tackling the supply and demand side barriers. Better financial inclusion could help Egypt in achieving part of its SDS 2030 vision. Key Words: Financial Inclusion, Financial Development, Access to Finance, Supply Side Barriers, Demand Side Barriers, Inclusive Growth, Regulatory and Legal Framework, Micro Finance, Financial Market Development.
Public Policy & Administration Department
MA in Public Administration
Committee Member 1
El Baradei, Laila
Committee Member 2
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(2019).Financial Inclusion in Egypt: Opportunities and Challenges [Master’s thesis, the American University in Cairo]. AUC Knowledge Fountain.
Ghebrial, Farid. Financial Inclusion in Egypt: Opportunities and Challenges. 2019. American University in Cairo, Master's thesis. AUC Knowledge Fountain.