Dr Ernest Addison
GHANA IS well positioned to become a financially-included society in the medium-term.
This is evidenced by the high penetration of mobile money and increased digital payments in the country.
Dr Ernest Addison the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, made this known, while delivering the welcome address at the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) virtual working group meeting recently.
According to him, Ghana was committed to increasing access to formal financial services, from 58% in 2017 to 85% of the adult population by 2023, while focusing on financially excluded groups.
“The increase in access to financial services is expected to create economic opportunities and contribute to poverty reduction.
The strategic pillars outlined in the National Financial Inclusion Development Strategy (NFIDS) to support this agenda in Ghana, are: financial stability, access, quality, and usage of financial services, financial infrastructure, financial consumer protection and financial literacy and capacity,” Dr. Addison noted.
He said that Ghana that had come a long way in fostering the financial inclusion agenda, with the Bank of Ghana at the forefront; adding that the implementation of several policy measures geared towards banking the ‘unbanked’, and formalising the informal financial sector, constituted integral parts of the overall strategy to promote an inclusive financial system in the country.
“Starting off, the bank facilitated the passage of the Payment Systems and Services Act, 2019 (Act 987), and set up a Payment Systems Strategy (2019-2024) to provide the enabling legal and regulatory environment required for the orderly development of the payment ecosystem.
These connect seamlessly with the country’s National Financial Inclusion Development Strategy (NFIDS) framework.
The concept of financial digitisation has proven to be a key pillar for financial inclusiveness, especially under this pandemic era. With this backdrop underpinning Ghana’s digitisation agenda, a Digital Financial Services (DFS) Policy was launched to complement the NFIDS.
Among others, the DFS policy provides a strong regulatory framework, for all stakeholders to support innovation, competition, and financial inclusion, enhance the use of digital infrastructure, and consequently, support the emergence and growth of fintechs,” the Governor highlighted.
He added that the increase in numbers of financial technology firms in the country’s ecosystem had further boosted the delivery of value-added financial services.
“This is because we have wholly embraced the fintech agenda and set up a Fintech and Innovation Office, to drive the process of innovation towards financial inclusiveness.
In furtherance of this, the bank has recently issued a framework for Digital Sandboxes as test beds and platforms, to minimize time to market rate of innovative solutions,
All these policy efforts are geared towards supporting the financial services industry, with the view to accelerating Ghana’s transition to a financially digitised, innovative, and inclusive economy,” he continued.
“These policies have Indeed, yielded some encouraging results, with registered mobile money accounts, increasing to over 38 million in 2020. The volume of Instant Pay also increased fourfold in 2020.
With the high penetration of mobile money and increased digital payments, Ghana is well positioned to become a financially included society in the medium-term,”
BY Samuel Boadi