New Economy Forum: CBDC and Financial Inclusion



This session will bring together policymakers who are looking into issuing or have already issued a central bank digital currency (CBDC). The session will concentrate on the intersection between CBDCs and financial inclusion. How can CBDCs affect access to and use of financial services? To what extent is financial inclusion an important driver of the decision to issue a CBDC? How are countries designing or planning to design CBDCs with financial inclusion in mind? Are there any early lessons from the experience so far?



Harvesh Kumar Seegolam
Bank of Mauritius, Governor


Mr. Harvesh Kumar Seegolam was appointed as Governor of the Bank of Mauritius with effect from the 1st of March 2020 by the President of the Republic of Mauritius, in accordance with Section 13 of the Bank of Mauritius Act 2004, and upon the recommendation of the Prime Minister.

Prior to his appointment, Mr. Seegolam was the Chief Executive of the Financial Services Commission (FSC) since July 2017. In his previous position, he spearheaded numerous national initiatives on the development and regulation of financial services.

Driving a culture of innovation throughout the industry, Mr. Seegolam has been at the forefront of the establishment of the National Regulatory Sandbox Licence Committee in 2018, and is a member of the Mauritius Artificial Intelligence Council.

Over the last years, Mr. Seegolam has been a key contributor and a member of various technical committees at the level of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). He has driven the setting up of the FSC Regional Centre of Excellence – an initiative launched in collaboration with the OECD, aiming at furthering capacity building and research in the fields of financial services, competition and digital finance in Sub Saharan Africa for regulatory bodies and law enforcement agencies.

Prior to joining the FSC, Mr. Seegolam launched and ran the Financial Services Promotion Agency with the mandate of promoting Mauritius as an International Financial Centre.

 Governor Seegolam holds a BSc (Hon) in Economics and an MSc in International Finance, in addition to several other qualifications in accountancy and finance. He is an alumnus of the London School of Economics and Political Science, the University College London, Durham University, as well as, the SKEMA ‘Grande Ecole de Commerce’ in France.

Cleopatra Davis
Central Bank of The Bahamas, Manager, Banking Department

Cleopatra Davis is the Head of Banking, at the Central Bank of The Bahamas, where she has oversight of payments operations, foreign investments, and domestic debt market activities. She serves on a number of the Central Bank’s committees including Deputy Chair of the Investment Committee and a member of the Monetary Policy Committee. She also served as co-chair of the Sand Dollar, central bank digital currency (CBDC) project committee. Previously, she served as the Chief Audit Executive at the Central Bank of The Bahamas from 2009 – 2017.

Cleopatra obtained a Chartered Banker MBA (MCBI) from Bangor University, a B.Sc. Electronics Engineering from Herff College of Engineering, University of Memphis. She is a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), Certified Financial Services Auditor (CFSA), holds a Certification in Risk Management Assurance (CRMA) and is a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA).  She is a member of the Chartered Banker Institute, UK, the IIA, and a member of the global Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), Digital Financial Services (DFS) Working Group.

Hakima El Alami
Bank Al-Maghrib, Head, Payment Systems and Instruments Oversight and Financial Inclusion Department

Ms. Hakima El Alami has been with bank Al-Maghrib since 1997. She is the current Director of Payment Systems and Instruments Oversight and Financial Inclusion Department responsible for conducting national strategies related to payment systems and financial inclusion. The Department is also in charge of implementing of regulation and oversight framework of FMIs and means of payment.     

She joined Bank Al-Maghrib as an executive in charge of financial analyses and corporates ratings, and also assessment of the quality of the private debt instruments within the context of central bank advances. Since 2003, she was appointed as a Manager in the Monetary and Exchange Operations Department where she spent 13 years in charge of cashless means of payment and payment systems oversight.

Hakima El Alami holds a higher studies diploma (DES) from Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, and a Diploma of Advanced Studies –DEA- in economic organizations engineering , Complex systems modeling, from the University of AIX-Marseille III.

She is also Alumni of Fletcher School Leadership Program for Financial Inclusion (FLPFI). TUFTS University. Boston

Hassan Mahmud
Central Bank of Nigeria, Director, Monetary Operations 

Dr. Mahmud is the Director of the Monetary Policy Department in the Central Bank of Nigeria. In that capacity, he coordinates the technical inputs for formulation, design and implementation of monetary policy decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria, as well as the dissemination of the monetary policy outcomes to the economy. Dr. Mahmud currently serves as the Secretary of the Central Bank Monetary Policy Committee.

Prior to this role, he was the Group Head, Macro-prudential Analysis in the Financial Policy and Regulation Department of the Central Bank of Nigeria, where he oversees the conduct of off-site macroprudential surveillance, appraisal of banking industry financial soundness indicators, and evaluation of industry stress test.

Between 2010–2014, he was the Special Adviser to the Governor on economic policy and research, where he played a key role in shaping the Bank’s economic and monetary policies decisions, particularly in the areas of foreign exchange and inflation rates management.

Dr. Mahmud holds a BSc, MSc and PhD Degree in Economics from the University of Surrey, United Kingdom.


Maria Soledad Martinez Peria
Research Department, IMF 

Martin Cihak
Strategy, Policy, & Review Department, IMF