Reserve Bank won the Maya Declaration Award

The Alliance for Financial Inclusion’s (AFI) 8th annual Global Policy Forum (GPF), co-hosted by the AFI and the Reserve Bank of Fiji, in Nadi, Fiji on 7th - 9th September 2016 has concluded. This year’s GPF, Building the Pillars of Sustainable Inclusion, was the largest and most diverse forum the AFI Network has ever held.

Amongst the highlights of this year’s GPF was the NRBT as the winner of the Maya Declaration Award for 2016, out of more than 100 member institutions representing over 90 nations across the globe. This award recognizes the NRBT as the institution with clearly defined and measurable targets, and the most dedicated progress reporting via the AFI Data Portal, which is the AFI’s integrated global database on financial inclusion policies, regulations, and outcomes, that allows members to track and view progress made against their Maya Declaration Commitments as well as key financial inclusion indicators. The first Maya Declaration Award was won by the Reserve Bank of Fiji in 2013, followed by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Central Bank of Philippines) in 2014, Bank Negara of Malaysia in 2015 and the NRBT is the fourth recipient of this award. The Maya Declaration is the first global commitment by policymakers from developing and emerging countries to unlock the economic and social potential of the poor through greater financial inclusion.

Governor Kioa in receiving the award stated that “it is indeed an honor and privilege that the NRBT’s efforts to date is being globally recognized, which is an incentive to proceed further with our initiatives to promote financial inclusion to build an inclusive economy for the betterment of the people of Tonga.”

Major outcomes of this year’s GPF include the following:

  1. Adoption the Denarau Action Plan to increase the number of women with access to quality and affordable financial services globally and close the financial inclusion gender gap;

  2. Sixteen AFI members making significant commitments to the Maya Declaration mainly on SMEs finance, gender, Consumer Protection, and Digital Financial Services;

  3. Recognition of the eight key pillars of sustainable financial inclusion which are gender, green financial inclusion, SME finance, de-risking and re-risking, financial inclusion data, technology and innovation, consumer empowerment, and partnership;

  4. Launching of the AFI Online Data Portal to the public, giving AFI’s partners and stakeholders access to an extensive financial inclusion database for the first time;

  5. AFI members’ perspective on de-risking to be raised with the Standards Setting Bodies (SSBs); Adoption of the National Financial Inclusion Strategies - Toolkit product;

  6. Adoption of the knowledge product on the role of the regulator in SME Finance.

The NRBT became an AFI member in 2012 and committed to the Maputo Accord / Maya Declaration at the 2015 GPF in Maputo, Mozambique. In its Maya Declaration, the NRBT committed to develop Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and their access to finance with a target of increasing SME finance by 20% in 2020. To meet its Maya Declaration targets, the NRBT is committed to promoting financial inclusion by developing Tonga’s national financial inclusion strategy to ensure relevant, affordable and sustainable financial services in the remote areas for the livelihood of the people. This in turn would contribute towards achieving the NRBT’s vision of being an effective and dynamic central bank in promoting Tonga’s economic prosperity.

Governor Kioa led the NRBT delegation; other participants from Tonga included the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the South Pacific Business Development, a microfinance institution that is serving four Pacific Islands including Tonga. Furthermore, Tongan cultural dances and traditional costumes were showcased by the University of the South Pacific (USP) Tonga Students Association and the NRBT at the final event of the forum.

National Reserve Bank of Tonga

For media: Press Release in English.

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