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Financial inclusion award named after late bsp governor espenilla

The Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) recently announced the inaugural “Nestor Espenilla, Jr. Financial Inclusion Innovation Award” which honors the late Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor’s contributions to financial inclusion in the Philippines and globally.

The award, established with funding support from Flourish Ventures, recognizes institutions that demonstrate outstanding commitment toward innovation and the use of technology to further financial inclusion.

AFI recognizes the contributions of the late BSP Governor Nestor Espenilla, Jr. in advancing financial inclusion in the Philippines and abroad (Photo courtesy of Alliance for Financial Inclusion)

The first recipient of the award is the Central Bank of Egypt, which AFI recognized in a ceremony held during the 2022 AFI Global Policy Forum on 05 to 08 September at the Dead Sea, Jordan.

In her message, the late Governor’s wife, Maria Teresita F. Espenilla, said that, “by serving as the inspiration for the award that will, in turn, inspire the efforts of others, my husband continues to support and contribute to the work of the AFI in harnessing the power of technology and innovation in order to bring about greater inclusion for many more unbanked people.”

Recognized as a global champion for financial innovation and inclusion, former Governor Espenilla played a critical role in advocating financial inclusion in the Philippines. He became a key figure in many of the BSP’s groundbreaking policies, including the use of the “test and learn” approach to promote high-impact innovations in a prudent manner. He served at the helm of the BSP from July 2017 until his passing 18 months later.

The winner of the “Nestor Espenilla, Jr. Financial Inclusion Innovation Award” will receive AFI support to implement an innovation project aimed at leveraging innovation and technology for financial inclusion.

Based in Malaysia, AFI is a global network of 82 members from 75 countries composed of central banks and regulatory financial institutions working toward the common objective of advancing financial inclusion at the country, regional, and international levels. The AFI was established in 2008 with the BSP as one of its founding members.


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