This publication is edited by Thouraya Triki and Issa Faye from the AfDB’s Development Research Department. It is a novel effort in at least three different ways. First, it contributes to our understanding of the issue of financial inclusion, on which there is little research to date. In doing so, this publication provides a comprehensive definition of financial inclusion and discusses issues related to measurement. Further, it explores what financial inclusion really means from a number of different perspectives including small and medium enterprises, women, rural areas and agriculture, and fragile states, and provides strategic options for its promotion. Second, the analysis is based on new and unique datasets. This enables contributors to rigorously analyze financial inclusion from the point of view of segments of the population, users groups, or sub-regions served by the formal and informal financial services in Africa. Third, the publication brings together a wealth of knowledge on financial inclusion from experts and practitioners from the broader development community, including the World Bank, International Finance Corporation, Alliance for Financial Inclusion, Overseas Development Institute, Inter-American Development Bank Group, Dalberg, La Pietra Coalition, and AfDB.