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UN Chief Launches Global Task Force on Digital Financing

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré (file)

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré (file)

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced Thursday the launch of a global task force charged with recommending strategies to harness the potential of financial technology to advance the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Task Force on Digital Financing consists of leaders from a range of sectors from both developed and developing countries. It is co-chaired by Maria Ramos, Chief Executive Officer of the Absa Group Ltd. (South Africa) and Achim Steiner, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme.

“We have already seen how technology has helped expand financial inclusion ‑ itself an important goal — by 1.2 billion people in just six years,” said Mr. Guterres. “But we have only just begun to tap the potential of digital finance and investment to meet the broader agenda set forth in the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on climate change.”

Reflecting its interest in the digitization of finance at the systemic level, the Task Force’s membership includes experts from the investment community, capital markets, Government and civil society, as well as leading banks and innovators in digital payments. Task Force members serve in their personal capacities.

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“Digitization makes it possible to process financial data much faster, more accurately, and in exponentially greater volumes,” said co-Chair Maria Ramos. “Not just financial institutions, but entire financial systems are being transformed by the digital revolution. We have an historic opportunity to ensure that what emerges are financial systems that put people at the centre.”

Members of the Task Force on Digital Financing of the Sustainable Development Goals:


Maria Ramos (South Africa), Chief Executive Officer, Absa Group Limited

Achim Steiner (United Nations), Administrator, United Nations Development Programme


Maiva Atalina Emma Ainuu-Enari, Governor, Central Bank of Samoa

Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA

Natalie Jabangwe, Chief Executive Officer, EcoCash

Xiandong (Eric) Jing, Chief Executive Officer/Director and Executive Chairman, Ant Financial Services

Bradley Katsuyama, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, IEX

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director, UN‑Women

Ambareen Musa, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Souqulmal

Patrick Njoroge, Governor, Central Bank of Kenya

Richard Samans, Managing Director, World Economic Forum

Liu Zhenmin, Under-Secretary General for Economic and Social Affairs

Aurelie Adam Soule Zoumarou, Minister of Economy and Communications, Benin

Note that the list will be updated as official confirmations arrive.

The Task Force on Digital Financing will meet in Davos in January 2019 and is expected to present its preliminary report of recommendations to the Secretary‑General in September.

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