Brussels, 29 January 2021/OACPS: The Organization of Africa, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) together with the European Commission (EC), has signed a new initiative of €14.5 million with the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) to unlock the potential of digital finance to benefit more than 600,000 women, youth and entrepreneurs across the Member States of the OACPS.

Mobile money is the provision of financial services through mobile technologies. It allows for the paying of bills and receiving money by the use of mobile apps. Mobile money also creates new opportunities for businesses and individuals in all regions of the world, both in urban and rural communities. Nevertheless, there is a long way to go as 1.7 billion adults remain unbanked, especially women and youth. This represents 46% of adults in the developing countries.

The project is funded through the 11th European Development Funds (EDF) which is co-managed by the OACPS and the European Union (EU). Thanks to the initiative, UNCDF will support key policy reforms for digital transformation as well as create inclusive financial services tailored to the needs of women and youth, including innovative savings products and credit.

The joint action will be implemented in different countries across Africa (Ethiopia, Gabon, Malawi and Niger) the Caribbean (the Eastern Caribbean States and Trinidad and Tobago) and the Pacific (Fiji, Samoa, Timor Leste, Tonga and Vanuatu).

This initiative is fully in line with the recent launch of the EU’s new Digital 4 Development Hub, aimed at building strong ties across the globe to make the digital revolution an opportunity for everyone.


The coronavirus global health crisis is severely harming livelihoods and sending hundreds of millions into poverty. Although economic recovery appears far off, the crisis has also encouraged incentives for economic transformation, demonstrating the immediate benefits of financial inclusion. In spite of the progress made in the past 10 years, supporting digital finance remains critical for governments and individuals to create a conducive ecosystem for economic recovery and to provide a tangible response to coronavirus.

Although much is still unknown of the socioeconomic consequences of the coronavirus on women and youth, the disease is especially harmful to those who generally earn less, save less, hold more insecure jobs and, therefore, have less capacity to absorb economic shocks. The situation for women and youth in Least Developed Countries (LDC) is likely to deteriorate faster than in more developed countries.

For More Information
Team Europe: Digital4Development Hub launched to help shape a fair digital future across the globe

UNCDF Global Strategy: Leaving No One Behind in the Digital Era

Photo @UNCDF