Africa has achieved impressive economic growth in the past 15 years; from 2001 to 2010, six of the world's ten fastest growing economies were in Africa. Although growth has been moderate in recent years, it is expected to regain strength.
Three years ago, Susana Martinez-Restrepo, a young Colombian researcher finishing her PhD studies, was invited to join and coordinate a regional project titled: Beyond Social Protection: Labour Markets, Entrepreneurship, and Gender Equality. Supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the project uses evidence to enhance the impact of social protection programs for the most vulnerable, and in particular, women.
Transferring funds or making online payments is second nature for many, yet millions of people globally struggle to access basic financial services. Financial inclusion — improving access and availability of financial services for the poor — can reduce inequality and promote social mobility.