This paper summarizes financial inclusion across Africa. First, it provides a brief overview of the African financial sector landscape. Second, it uses the Global Financial Inclusion Indicators (Global Findex) database to characterize adults in Africa that use formal and informal financial services and identify the barriers to formal account ownership. Next, it uses World Bank Enterprise Survey data to examine how the use of financial services by small and medium enterprises in Africa compares with small and medium enterprises in other developing regions in terms of account ownership and availability of lines of credit. The authors find that less than a quarter of adults in Africa have an account with a formal financial institution and that many adults in Africa use informal methods to save and borrow. Similarly, the majority of small and medium enterprises in Africa are unbanked and access to finance is a major obstacle. Compared with other developing economies, high-growth small and medium enterprises in Africa are less likely to use formal financing, which suggests formal financial systems are not serving the needs of enterprises with growth opportunities.
Demirguc-Kunt, Asli and Leora Klapper. "Financial inclusion in Africa: An overview," World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. WPS 6088, June 2012.