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Shega, an Ethiopian media, data, intelligence, and advisory firm, has collaborated with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to bolster the accessibility of information on digital financial services (DFS) in Ethiopia.

The collaborative project, which is aligned with the shared goals of both entities, aims to increase financial inclusion through data-driven product development and decision-making in Ethiopia’s digital financial sector.

Titled “Advancing Knowledge on Financial Accessibility and DFS Adoption – AKOFADA (አኮፋዳ),” the initiative is also expected to ultimately contribute to the Ethiopian government’s goal of achieving financial inclusion for 70% of adults in Ethiopia and encouraging them to actively use a digital account to make payments and access additional products by 2025.

Spanning a period of three years, the project aims to create the same operating knowledge base for financial institutions, decision-makers, enablers, and end users while also supporting the country’s digital finance ecosystem to produce relevant products for end users.

Since 2019, Shega has emerged as a leading provider of valuable, high-quality content and data about the Ethiopian innovative and digital economy. Its latest initiative, with the Gates Foundation, through its Inclusive Financial Systems (IFS) Program, builds upon Shega’s existing core products and capabilities and will leverage Shega’s data and intelligence platform, Shega Insights, as well as various media channels and marketing strategies.

We are delighted to collaborate with the Gates Foundation, which will help scale our efforts and significantly contribute to the growth of the digital financial sector,” said Anteneh Tesfaye, Founder and CEO of Shega.

Ethiopia’s journey towards financial inclusion through digitization holds promise. But there remains a lack of localized and relevant digital finance products, partly due to the scarcity of data and information for customer-centric product development.

Currently, there is no consolidated, organized, or reliable data source for DFS in Ethiopia. The available data sets, including those from the government, are fragmented. The sector also lacks standard guides and measures depicting DFS deployment, growth, and usage,” said Nathnael Tsegaw, Manager of Shega Insights.

To address this, Shega Insights, a Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) platform currently in an early stage of development, will be scaled into a comprehensive data platform with the support of the Gates Foundation. Shega Insights will provide all-inclusive information on Ethiopia’s financial sector and digital financial ecosystem.

In addition to the data-driven approach, the project will share insights and recommendations through easily understandable and freely accessible content, including feature articles, case studies, and infographics. The content will have a particular emphasis on serving underserved demographics, such as women and low-income individuals residing in rural and semi-rural areas.

Moreover, the project aspires to reach rural and semi-rural populations across Ethiopia. Shega aims to build trust and dispel misconceptions, mistrust, and aversions towards digital financial services by providing means for consumer education on their benefits through effective channels.

“The project is not only aligned with the Ethiopian government’s National Financial Inclusion Strategy II but also holds the potential to transform the financial landscape through better products in the market,” added Anteneh.

About Shega:

Shega is an information service and technology company in the business of demystifying the African Economy through Integrated Media, Advisory, Data, and Intelligence —Building Bloomberg for Africa.

Through a high-quality digital media platform encompassing the web, newsletters, audio, and video, coupled with Shega Insights, a subscription-based data and intelligence service with a focus on technology and finance, Shega provides essential tools for businesses, organizations, investors, and policymakers to make well-informed decisions. By empowering the Ethiopian economy with reliable information and insights, Shega is driving growth and fostering innovation throughout the country.

For more information Contact:

Nathnael Tsegaw

Email: [email protected]

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