Now reading: Antonia Esser

Antonia Esser

Antonia has been part of the Cenfri team since April 2016. Her main research areas are payments – with a particular focus on remittances -, insurtech and the country-level financial sector diagnostics. In these areas, she has been working on a multi-part research study on the supply-side barriers to efficient remittance provision in Sub-Saharan Africa, authored a study on MSME insurance in emerging markets and assisted the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) in its technology in insurance regulation guidelines. Furthermore, Antonia co-authored a study about the role of insurtech in inclusive insurance and was responsible for the FinScope data analysis behind Making Access Possible (MAP) Madagascar, as well as supporting MAP DRC.

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 (BFA) 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
Exploring insurtech
Insurtech: An insurance ...
Central bank digital currency (CBDC) and financial inclusion
What can CBDC do for emerging markets: a case for mobile money Central banks have st...
Where are the flows? Exploring barriers to remittances in sub-Saharan Africa
Remittance flows represent an increasingly important source of income for sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Between 2012 and 2015, formal flows steadily gr...
Exploring barriers to remittances in sub-Saharan Africa
On average, the remittance market in Africa is the most expensive in the world. The latest data from the World Bank indicates that the average cost...
Beyond the numbers: Tailoring insurance cover for MSMEs
Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) are the lifeblood of most economies globally. They are recognised as one of the primary engines f...
Role of insurtech in microinsurance: How is insurtech addressing 5 challenges in microinsurance?
The business of insurance is hard. Microinsurance delivery has proven to be nearly impossible. Despite almost two decades of focus on the under and...