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LAGOS—Diamond Bank today joins Women’s World Banking to host a global discussion on the role of digital financial services in empowering low-income women who do not have access to formal financial products. During a three-day workshop, discussants from the Central Bank of Nigeria, MTN Nigeria, Diamond Bank Plc, Jazz of Pakistan, BIMA of Cambodia and Women’s World Banking will examine the best practices in developing, enhancing and delivering world-class digital financial services to women. The outcome of the discussion will help in developing and aligning financial products and services that can be adopted in markets around the world.

Highlighting the importance of the workshop and the urgent need to develop digital financial services to enhance women’s living standards, Diamond Bank CEO, Uzoma Dozie, stated that the Bank is very passionate about women’s financial wellbeing. He noted that Diamond Bank’s strategic focus is to ensure the enhancement of women’s financial lifestyles by providing innovative and convenient banking services using mobile phones and other digital tools.

Dozie said: “We are aware that the future of banking is digital. Therefore, we are using this to explore ways to innovatively create better financial products and services and bring banking to women, no matter where they live and the type of handset they are using.”

Diamond Bank works with global nonprofit Women’s World Banking to develop innovative products and services for low-income women clients. This includes Diamond Y’ello, a mobile-based bank account offered in collaboration with telecom operator MTN. With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, this partnership is working to develop Diamond Y’ello as a global model for expanding women’s access to digital financial services through simplified steps in account opening and banking transactions, using mobile phones. During the workshop, Diamond Bank and Women’s World Banking will share lessons from the Diamond Y’ello proposition as well as other products.

Additionally, the workshop will feature learnings from Jazz and BIMA. With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, JazzCash, Pakistan’s premiere financial services provider, is working with Women’s World Banking to increase low-income women’s adoption and use of digital financial services, particularly the JazzCash mobile account. In Cambodia, BIMA and mobile network operator Smart Axiata are working with Women’s World Banking to increase awareness and understanding of insurance products. Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) supports this partnership, which aims to use mobile tools to enhance the value proposition for clients, especially low-income women.

“We’re thrilled to bring together partners from around the world that have demonstrated commitment to serving women with innovative digital tools,” said Anna Gincherman, Chief Product Development Officer at Women’s World Banking, who will moderate the panel discussion.

Speaking further she said, “We look forward to this opportunity to exchange valuable learnings across unique markets, all toward the goal of reaching women, who may not have otherwise had access, so they can plan for the future, build a safety net for times of crisis, and even grow their businesses.”

During the three-day intensive workshop, participants will exchange strategies and tactics in building and implementing approaches for reaching women clients. They will examine successful practices in behavioral product design, effective data collection, agent network management and marketing to reach women.

Additionally, participants will have the opportunity to visit Diamond Bank agents who are using innovative mobile tools to reach women clients in their communities.



As famine looms in parts of Africa, the World Food Security has called on governments, civic groups and businesses to rally support for immediate relief to people in risk- prone countries and develop longer-term initiatives that will allow them to recover and restore their livelihoods. In a letter to the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) members and stakeholders, the Chair of the Committee on World Food Security, Ambassador Amira Gornass, urged stakeholders, as well as the international community at large, to step up their response to the crises in the countries. Report from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, state that famine has been declared in some counties of South Sudan, and the number of people close to sliding from emergency to disaster is terrifyingly high in North-Eastern Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen. According to the FAO, 30 million people in the four countries are uncertain where their next meal will come from or are reliant on humanitarian assistance. In a similar vein, the United Nations has warned that hundreds of Nigerians could starve to death in the famine threatened north east due to lack of aid funds. Speaking to the Thomas Reuters Foundation in Dakar, the World Food Programme Regional Director, Abdou Dieng informed that almost half a million of the region’s hungriest people could miss out of food aid next month because the WFO did not have enough money to feed them. “We need $250 million to prevent famine in the coming months,” said the WFP’s regional director. “About 4.7 million people in northeast Nigeria – where the jihadist group Boko Haram has waged an eight-year insurgency – need food aid, a number expected to rise to 5.2 million by August, according to the WFP. Yet a shortfall in funding means the U.N. agency can only provide aid to 1.3 million of those most in need next month, instead of the 1.8 million people it had originally planned to reach, said Dieng. “If we don’t get the funding, hundreds of thousands of people could die of hunger,” he said, He also informed that hunger levels would increase as the rainy season restricted aid delivery and continuing insecurity limited the population’s ability to farm. According to the aid agencies, the northeast is on the brink of famine after two years of missed harvests, with a third missed year looking likely. Source