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Ghana launches Digital Financial Services Policy amid COVID-19 pandemic

Globalization and digitization are two significant trends that will shape the future of nations. The Republic of Ghana is well-positioned to take advantage of these two trends as it strives to create a vibrant economy that benefits all Ghanaians. The Government of Ghana has identified financial inclusion critical to developing its digital economy.

The Ministry of Finance led the development of the National Financial Inclusion and Development Strategy (NFIDS) has launched the Digital Financial Services (DFS) Policy, designed to serve as a blueprint for how Ghana can leverage digital finance to achieve its financial inclusion goals.

The Ministry has announced the launch of three policy initiatives designed to deepen financial inclusion and accelerate the shift to digital payments. The Government has also built a Digital Payments Coordination Unit to drive stakeholder engagement on the implementation of key actions.

These assertions in the COVID-19 pandemic era are even more relevant when social distancing has become the new norms. These policies reinforce the Government’s commitment to the Ghanaian economy and providing the soft infrastructure to enable the private sector, payment service providers and all other ecosystem players in innovating digital financial solutions in a conducive environment to benefit all Ghanaians. The Ministry presented its vision of building a highly digitised payment system that accelerates economic development and drives inclusive growth.

  • The National Financial Inclusion and Development Strategy, developed in collaboration with the World Bank, aims at increasing financial inclusion from current 58 percent to 85 percent by 2023, helping create economic opportunities and reducing poverty.
  • The Digital Financial Services Policy, built in partnership with the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), stands on existing technological gains to create a digital ecosystem that contributes to social development, economy and a thriving private sector.
  • The Cash-Lite Roadmap, designed in partnership with the United Nations-based Better Than Cash Alliance, puts forward concrete steps to build an inclusive digital payments ecosystem. This includes better access to financial services, enabling regulation and oversight, and promoting consumer protection.

 

The launch conforms to the call by the Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia during the launch of QRPay and Proxypay by the Bank of Ghana in March 2020, on financial institutions, FinTech sectors and telecommunications to find innovative ways of turning mobile phones and the mobile money platforms into vehicles of economic emancipation for the players in the large informal industry.

“Digital payments help drive transparency, accountability, efficiency, as well as greater women’s participation in the economy. Moving away from cash helps our country advance towards achieving many of the Sustainable Development Goals,” stated Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Hon. Minister of Finance.

According to the Minister, both the public and private sector actors need to work hand in hand, digitising responsibly, to turn these new policy initiatives into tangible benefits for all Ghanaians. The launch significantly projects Ghana as a digital payment success story.

“SECO has been committed to supporting the growth of digital financial services in Ghana because we are aware of the substantial positive impact it has on driving financial access for the poor, unleashing innovation and making the economy more resilient. We are very proud to have contributed to the development of the DFS Policy and look forward to working closely with our Ghanaian partners to implement its pillars. Congratulations Ghana!” said Matthias Feldmann, Deputy Head of Mission / Head of Cooperation at the Swiss Embassy in Ghana.

“Ghana is already recognised as a global digital payments success story! We look forward to continuing working with our members, the Government, as well as with the private sector and international organisations, to accelerate the new ambitious cash-lite roadmap, in a way that is responsible and responsive to the needs of all Ghanaians,” said Dr Ruth Goodwin-Groen, Managing Director of the United Nations-based Better Than Cash Alliance.

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