“Access to finance for all” has gained attention in the international development agenda in recent years. In the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), the issue of financial inclusion is set at the level of priority but in several dimensions of financial inclusion, countries of the union lag behind the Sub-Saharan Africa and Asian benchmark countries. In this paper, factors that are important for financial inclusion in WAEMU are identified and it is investigated whether these factors are correlated with self-reported barriers to financial inclusion using the 2014 Gallup World Poll Survey data. The results indicate that, the variables: Age, sex, employment status, educational attainment and level of income are all determinants of financial inclusion in WAEMU. The results of the relationship between self-reported barriers and individuals’ characteristics show that, educational level and income are the main factors that affect the livelihood of reporting a barrier to financial inclusion in WAEMU.
Key words: Personal finance, financial institutions, West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU).
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