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Georgetown Journal of International Affairs ; 23(1):77-83, 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-2313658


Women, the rural poor, young people, and other vulnerable groups should not have to bear the brunt of the pandemic's socio-economic implications.6 First introduced in Kenya in 2007, the digital payment service "M-Pesa" has grown rapidly, becoming the most common mode of payment for goods and services in the East African region.7 Basking in the service's success facilitating payment transactions, Kenya has risen to the top of regional rankings in both the supply of mobile money services and bank account ownership (Figure 1). According to the 2017 Findex Report, the global trend of bank account ownership in middle to low-income countries stood at 63 percent in 2017. [End Page 79] smartphones and digital literacy are associated with poverty and are the main barriers to getting online.14 According to Research ICT Africa's Retail Africa Mobile Pricing (RAMP) Index, price is another barrier, since data is still quite expensive in many African countries.15 Financial inclusion during COVID-19 According to an International Finance Institution (IFC) study of thirteen countries in sub-Saharan Africa, women-owned micro, small, and medium-sized firms (MSMEs) were most adversely affected by COVID-19, due to their smaller size and high concentration of ownership.16 Many of these female owners indicated that their companies had lost more than half of their revenues and that they had experienced an increase in the cost of their operations due to the pandemic. According to the Research ICT Africa's phone survey,19 58 percent of those who received the facility were individuals and women-owned small and medium-sized enterprises (WOSME).20 This demonstrates that women, particularly those working in the