Now reading: Antonia Esser

Antonia Esser

Antonia has been part of the Cenfri team since April 2016. Her main research area is payments: remittances regulation and infrastructure, national/regional payment systems setup and regulation, central bank digital currencies, as well as regulation for innovation regulatory systems. She has also been involved in in-depth research around insurtech and country-level financial sector diagnostics, such as Zambia, Madagascar and the DRC. Antonia currently forms part of the Covid-19 Remittances Task Force that aims to inform the UN bodies on necessary actions around remittances. She is also a member of African Union’s  African Institute for Remittances expert cohort, tutors regulators in innovative financial regulation and regularly speaks at digital payments/economy conferences, such as the Global Digital Development Forum, the SWIFT African Regional Conference and the Global Money Transfer Summit.

Antonia’s background is in credit, and in particular micro loans. Before Cenfri, Antonia worked in Tzaneen, Limpopo, as a project manager for South Africa’s largest pro-poor microfinance organisation, the Small Enterprise Foundation (SEF). Operating in the most rural and poorest areas of the country, she oversaw SEF’s financial education programme. She also led a pilot on the potential transformation from joint to individual liability and designed a Financial Diaries project together with the University of Johannesburg and Bankable Frontier Associates to better understand the impact of credit on a client’s life.

  • Master’s in international trade, finance and development, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics
  • Bachelor’s in economics, University of Birmingham


Recent Content by Antonia Esser
MSMEs financing in Africa  
A framework for enabling access to finance for MSMEs in Africa   ...
Eswatini’s National Payment System Vision 2025
Eswatini’s journey towards revolutionising its payments system  ...
Identifying and analysing the most vulnerable female segments under COVID-19
How can we strengthen female resilience in a COVID-19 context?  ...
Eswatini Central Bank Digital Currency diagnostic study
Central banks across the developed and developing world have begun considering the ...
How to fill the remittance gaps left by COVID-19
When we think of the African diaspora, we often imagine large networks across Europe or North America and the...
Where are the flows? Exploring barriers to remittances in sub-Saharan Africa
This seven-part research series provides a detailed analysis of the market barriers to formal cross-border r...