This publication features contributions from experts in the field, covering key topics discussed during the first academic year of the EU Supervisory Digital Finance Academy.
This paper surveys existing literature and data to take stock of the current state of banking systems across Sub-Saharan Africa. It documents different dimensions of the development of the banking systems in the region and compares Africa’s banking systems to those of comparable low- and lower-middle income countries outside the region. The paper also discusses the progress in policies and institutions underpinning financial deepening and the results of specific innovations to reach traditionally unbanked segments of the population, such as innovative branch expansion programs, mobile banking, and new financial products. In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the paper discusses government support for financial systems and banking sector performance during crises. Overall, the survey shows a picture of achievements and challenges, with progress along some fronts but other challenges persisting even as new ones arise, including the turning of the global financial cycle in 2022/23 and increasing geopolitical tensions.