Dilemma of financial exclusion and inlusion in Africa: Can Nigeria, South Africa and Ghana be compared?
This paper investigates the level of financial inclusion and exclusion in selected African countries with special attention to Nigeria, South Africa and Ghana in a comparative approach. The study utilized global survey data on financial inclusion index published by Global Findex. From the researcher‟s comparative analysis using the basic variables of financial inclusion, it was discovered that: in terms of financial service accessibility, bankable adult Nigerians have less access to financial services than South Africa while the degree of financial services availability and financial service usage are all higher in South Africa than Nigeria and Ghana. The implication of these findings is that South Africa is more financially inclusive than Nigeria and Ghana; indicating that greater percentage of Nigerian and Ghanaian bankable adult citizens are financially excluded from their economy irrespective of the various banking reforms in the two countries. It was recommended among other suggestions that an all-embracing financial inclusion strategy that is rural based be developed for Nigeria and Ghana as well as reduction in the cost of banking and financial services (especially lending and deposit rates in Africa). The implication of these recommendations is that in Africa (and even other continents) the higher the deposit rate, the more people are willing to save and the lower the lending rate the more people are willing to get loans. The study submitted that by hierarchy of financial inclusion in Africa, Nigeria and Ghana with their present high level of financial exclusion cannot be compared to South Africa in all the key indicators of financial inclusion.
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