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Education University of Groningen Summer Schools

Financial Inclusion and Sustainable Growth

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Over the past years, many low-income countries and emerging economies have undergone extensive financial reforms. Despite these reforms, many households and enterprises, especially in Africa, are still unable to participate in the financial sector. While it is well known that financial institutions and markets can help induce economic growth, it is much less clear how financial development can become inclusive and kick-start a process of sustainable economic growth with a positive effect on the poor.

This summer school will discuss the major developments regarding research on financial inclusion, including microfinance. It will shed much light on how financial inclusion can induce sustainable growth in low-income economies, with explicit attention to African countries.

Practical information
21 - 26 July 2024
Université Laval, Québec, Canada

Master’s (Research or Professional), PhD, Postdoc, alumni

(Fee includes Welcome day with a guided tour of Old Québec and a visit to Montmorency Falls, weekday lunches (5 days). weekday coffee breaks, each morning and afternoon, 2 dinners at a restaurant, graduation cocktail on the last day, unlimited public transit bus pass for 6 days, academic lectures, corporate visit, course material, on-campus Wi-Fi)

Can$1,100 for Groningen University and Stellenbosch University students

Can$1,300 for exchange basis students (partner universities using their balance)

Can$1,600 for tuition basis students (non-partner universities or universities not using their balance)

Can$450 for Université Laval students

Academic coordinator

Prof. Robert Lensink (University of Groningen)



This summer school is designed for Master’s (Research or Professional), PhD students, Postdocs and alumni.

Academic Requirement
A minimum grade of 3 out of 4.33 or equivalent is required.

Language Requirement
The Summer School on Financial Inclusion and Sustainable Growth is taught entirely in English, and students come from many different countries. In order to fully benefit from the experience, both academically and socially, a minimum level of English proficiency must be met upon registration. Students for whom English is not their first language must obtain at least the minimum score required on any of the following tests. An attestation from the home institution that the students have met the English proficiency requirement will also be accepted.

Learning outcomes

Learning Outcomes Knowledge and Understanding

– Gain an in-depth understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of financial inclusion and sustainable economic growth.
– Condict an in-depth study of theories on financial innovation, cross-border banking and its relation to economic development.
– Increase your knowledge about the theory and practice of impact analyses in developing countries.

Skills and Abilities

– Learn how to design randomized experiments to measure the impacts of financial inclusion interventions.
– Learn how to evaluate the inclusivity of financial products and build frameworks for designing inclusive financial products.

Judgment and Approach

– Study the concept of financial inclusion and its role in economic growth.
– Analyze financial interventions, designs, innovations, and market types in relation to the growth and development of developing countries.


Upon successful completion of the programme, the Summer School offers a Certificate of Attendance that mentions the workload of 84 hours (28 hours corresponds to 1 ECTS). Students can apply for recognition of these credits to the relevant authorities in their home institutions, therefore the final decision on awarding credits is at the discretion of their home institutions. We will be happy to provide any necessary information that might be requested in addition to the certificate of attendance.


Prof. Robert Lensink

Robert Lensink is a development economist, with specific research interests covering Finance and Development, Gender Studies, Rural Development and Impact Analyses. A substantial part of his research focuses on Sub-Saharan Africa, and takes an interdisciplinary approach. He is Professor of Finance at the Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB) of the University of Groningen (UG) and a "Professor Extraordinary"at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. He is currently the vice-dean research at FEB,UG. Robert has a wide international network. He is e.g. External Research Fellow of SOAS (University of London), member of the European Development Research Network, Resource person for the African Economic Research Consortium and a member of the steering committee of NWO/WOTRO. Robert has published more than 120 articles in peer-reviewed journals, including the American Economic Review, Economic Journal, Journal of Development Economics, British Journal of Social Psychology and World Development. He has authored 5 books, edited 4 books, and published more than 30 book chapters. His most recent books are co-authored and co-edited with Professor Charles Adjasi of Stellenbosch Univeristy.

Calumn Hamilton

Calumn Hamilton is a PhD candidate at the University of Groningen and an affiliate of the Groningen Growth and Development Centre. His research focuses on development economics at the macroeconomic level, including areas such as structural change, aid effectiveness, the interaction of gender and development, and financial inclusion. Calumn is also involved in the construction and maintenance of various publicly available large-scale macroeconomic databases. Calumn’s first book was co-authored with Charles Adjasi and Robert Lensink and was published by Edward Elgar in summer 2022.

Prof. Charles Adjasi

Charles K.D. Adjasi is Head of Research and Professor of Development Finance & Economics at Stellenbosch Business School in South Africa. He served as a Visiting Scholar at the International Monetary Fund, Washington DC, USA. Prof Adjasi also worked at the University of Ghana Legon, from 2001-2011 and served as Head of the Department of Finance at the University of Ghana Business School.

He has consulted for various institutions, e.g. the World Bank; the Frederich Foundation Ghana; Trade Union Congress of Ghana; Investment Climate Facility for Africa and the African Development Bank. Prof Adjasi served on a panel of experts on Special Commodities Unit of UNCTAD, Geneva, and facilitated for Tariffs, Trade and Regional Integration within the West African Institute of Economic and Financial Management. Charles is a network member of the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) Nairobi, Kenya; and the Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP), Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN USA.

He is currently a Resource Person on the AERC Collaborative Project on Financial Sector Development and Financial Inclusion in Africa 2017-2019. His research focus is generally in the area of development finance/economics in Africa, with specific interests in macroeconomic policy and public sector economics, financial markets, foreign direct investment, household welfare, firm behavior and productivity and international trade & development. He has published widely; 40 journal articles, 4 monographs and has contributed 5 book chapters. He has been a recipient of a number of research grants; ESRC UK (joint), UNU-WIDER, AERC (joint), GTAP, and DANIDA. Charles holds a PhD from Stellenbosch University, an MPhil in Economics and a BA (Hons) in Economics and Political Science both from the University of Ghana.

Prof. Issouf Soumaré

Prof. Soumaré is Full Professor of Finance and the Director of the Laboratory for Financial Engineering of Université Laval (LABIFUL) in Canada. From 2012 to 2020, he was the Director of International Relations of the Faculty of Business Administration at Université Laval in Canada. In 2011-2012, he was the Director of the PhD and MSc research programs of the same Business School. He worked for the African Development Bank (ADB) at the former Risk Management Unit from 1996 to 1998. He is President of the Scientific Council of ENSEA (Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire). He is a Resource Person for the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC), Vice-President Program of the Africa Business and Entrepreneurship Research Society (ABERS), member of the Scientific Council of the Moroccan Financial Market Authority (AMMC), member of the Programme Steering Committee (PSC) of FSD WAEMU and member of the Scientific Committee of the “Revue Économique et Monétaire” of the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO). His research and teaching interests include international finance, financial inclusion, risk management, financial engineering and quantitative finance. Also, his theoretical and applied financial economic works have been published in leading international economics and finance journals. Prof. SOUMARE has also been a speaker and/or facilitator at several international conferences around the World. Prof. SOUMARÉ holds a PhD in Business Administration in Finance from the University of British Columbia (UBC, Canada), MSc in Financial Engineering from Université Laval (Canada), MSc in Statistics and Quantitative Economic (Ingénieur Statisticien Économiste) from ENSEA and MSc & BSc in Applied Mathematics from Université Félix Houphouët-Boigny (Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire). Prof. SOUMARÉ is also a certified PRM (Professional Risk Manager) and FRM (Financial Risk Manager). He is ASC (Chartered Director) from the College des Administrateurs de Sociétés (Directors’ College) of Université Laval.

Application procedure

Nominated students will receive instructions on how to submit their application and payment once their nomination has been received.

The following documents will have to be uploaded to the application form:

  • Proof of English-language proficiency
  • Transcripts of records showing at least one year of study in business administration or engineering and your grades.

The deadline for application is 30 April 2024.

Students must be nominated by their home university. The link to access the online nomination form is sent directly to partner universities.

Students from Stellenbosch University have a specific deadline. Please contact your coordinator for more information.

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Last modified:12 April 2024 3.49 p.m.