Govt To Set Up FinTech Fund


The Akufo-Addo-Bawumia-led New Patriotic Party (NPP) government has announced the setting up of a FinTech Innovation Fund (FIF) to support FinTech start-ups in a move to drive the country’s digital revolution.

The announcement was made by Vice President Dr. Bawumia in Accra yesterday during the official media launch of the maiden 3i Africa Summit.

The three-day summit will come off in Accra from May 13-15, 2024, on the theme, “Unleashing Africa’s FinTech and Digital Economic Potential”.

The event would be organised by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) and the Development Bank Ghana (DBG), in partnership with Elevandi, a subsidiary of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, and would attract governments, businesses, policy-makers, academia, investors and thought leaders.

Participants are among others expected to discuss and collaborate on unlocking Africa’s full potential on FinTech and digital economy.

It is for this reason, Dr. Bawumia said it was imperative to support them financially to thrive.

He, therefore, stressed the need for all stakeholders in the FinTech and digital industry to join forces in improving the legislative and regulatory environment in order to enhance the payments ecosystem and position Ghana on the path of sustained financial inclusion.

He was more than certain the power of technology would improve productivity and connectivity to empower individuals through FinTech startups, as well as small and medium scale businesses to increase innovation, and efficiency in the operations of institutions.

That, he said, was the reason government has for the past seven years focused on pursuing a digital transformation agenda as part of its economic strategy at the individual and institutional levels.

“The objective is to ensure digital empowerment for a prosperous future in this accelerated digital era, where the use of modern and emerging technologies has become commonplace and a catalyst for growth, progress, and prosperity,” Dr. Bawumia stated.

“It is no news that the government, under the leadership of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has paid special attention to digitalisation. This has been actively supported by various government institutions and regulators as part of the broader Ghana digitalisation agenda to advance digital transformation.

“It is no coincidence that this upcoming Summit has been dubbed 3i Africa Summit – thus Innovation, Investment, and Impact.

“This has been the backdrop of our digitalisation journey to harness the full potential of technology,” the Vice President stressed.

Dr. Bawumia highlighted some of the challenges the government faced in advancing its digitalisation agenda and believed that by leveraging technological innovations, the country would leapfrog the development process, overcome legacy problems, and improve both the economic and public sectors.

“For instance, to address the issue of no unique identification for citizens and residents, the Government issued the national biometric ID cards, popularly known as the ‘Ghana Card’ to provide a unique and centralised identification system for all Ghanaians.

“The acceptance of the ‘Ghana Card’ as the sole identification document for financial transactions in Ghana would in the long run help in the reduction of non-performing loans and mobile money fraud,” Dr. Bawumia pointed out.

The government, he said, also leveraged the GPS technology to implement a digital address system, which resulted in the unique address for all properties in Ghana.

“Also, the Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority provided street names and house numbers for every street in Ghana for easy identification and navigation,” he recalled.

“Furthermore, to promote financial inclusion and reduce the dominance of cash for payments, the mobile money payments interoperability system was instituted, thanks to the Bank of Ghana and GhIPSS for championing this cause.

“This has led to the seamless transfer of money across different mobile networks and from mobile money wallets to banks, and vice versa,” the Vice President stated.

The BoG, he said, piloted both online and offline use cases of the eCedi in 2022, and in December 2023, invited applicants to participate in its first-ever eCedi Hackathon, which was designed to foster innovation, drive technological advancement, and develop solutions that would redefine the Ghanaian financial landscape, he said.

The government, he said, also embarked on an aggressive digitalisation of the processes of service delivery across various public institutions to improve public services.

Dr. Bawumia mentioned the processes at the passport office, which were digitalised to enable online applications and significantly reduce the average turnaround time, the introduction of the paperless port system that largely reduced bureaucracy at the port, as well as the digitisation of the operations of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA).

By Charles Takyi-Boadu, Presidential Correspondent