Financial Inclusion Summit
Ladies and gentlemen
Good morning everyone and welcome to Oslo!
I am really glad to be here at this summit focusing on topics of vital importance to our common future; financial inclusion, development and the role of technology
These are issues close to my heart. Having worked as goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme for 16 years, my main message in my work on the Sustainable Development Goals and the fight to end poverty is that it is possible.
It is possible to eradicate extreme poverty. And we are the first generation ever in the history of mankind that has the possibility to actually achieve this goal.
There are many factors that contribute to reaching this objective. One of them is giving people the opportunity to lift themselves out of poverty. To do that, they need to be empowered – to get tools and capacity to shape their own future.
One of these tools is financial inclusion. Today, around 1,7 billion adults worldwide have no access to formal financial services.
We know that financial inclusion can change lives and have a huge impact – on individuals, families and whole communities. The effects of people being able to control their own resources – to save, loan and invest, can be enormous.
But it is not easy – there is no quick fix to include 1,7 billion people into systems they are not part of.
Still, technology holds the key to some solutions that can facilitate rapid growth, expansion and scale.
But we need to ensure that technology actually works for people. As we all know, technology can also be used to control, to reduce possibilities.
To ensure the right use of technology, we have to work together – across sectors and themes. Government and business need to collaborate, and we need smart and functioning regulations.
That is why today is important. That is why all of you here – and the sectors, companies and technologies that you represent have an important stake in the game.
I wish all the best for the important work you are doing. If you do this right, you can change the world and the lives for those who need it the most.
Good luck – and I hope you will have a fantastic summit!
Thank you for your attention.