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Abstract

Recent research shows that about 2.5 million people have no access to financial services worldwide. The research also shows that Africa, the home to 70 percent of the world’s least developed countries, has 80 percent of its population unbanked. These statistics are particularly disturbing as they have direct implications for economic growth. This is because, financial inclusion, including savings, has been shown to have a positive impact on economic growth and development. However, recent empirical research is limited in explaining the determinants of the choice of the savings option in Africa. By using survey data obtained from the World-Global Financial Inclusion (Global Findex) Database, 2014, we investigate how household’s characteristics affect their choice of a saving option. We use the multinomial probit model due to its ability to account for issues of independence of irrelevant alternatives (IIA). Our results indicate that there is a strong disconnect between female entrepreneurs and the formal banking sector.

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