Queen Máxima of the Netherlands held a meeting with the President of South Africa on Tuesday as part of her continuing commitment with the United Nations and inclusive financing on the African continent.
Queen Máxima’s conversation with President Cyril Ramaphosa stemmed from her role as the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA), a position she’s held for over a decade.
In their discussion, a continuation of last year’s G7 Partnership for Women’s Digital Financial Inclusion in Africa virtual event, the Queen and the President discussed ways to improve access and safety for digital financial services and women’s economic empowerment amongst African Union member states.
President Ramaphosa was the President of the African Union until February 2021 and has worked alongside Queen Máxima before regarding financial inclusion.
The Dutch Royal House noted: “Queen Máxima has been working with the French Minister of Finance, Bruno le Maire and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation since 2019 to improve digital financial services for women in Africa,” stemming from France’s time as chair of the G7 in 2019.
“The World Bank Group’s statistics indicate that worldwide, 1.7 billion adults do not have access to a bank or a savings account, nor to insurance, loans, pensions, or digital payment methods. This number mainly includes “people with low incomes, women, small (farmers) businesses, and people living in remote areas.”
The United Nations Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development’s website also explained that “digital financial services for underserved groups have been critical to respond and rebuild from the pandemic.”
Queen Máxima has been actively discussing inclusive finance for countries in Africa throughout the pandemic and ways that countries can build back in a post-coronavirus world.
This year alone, she has paid a virtual visit to Senegal and also spoke with Governor Koné of the Central Bank of West African States.